34. Donate My Old Clothes

I have a very real fear of becoming a hoarder. I don’t want to wind up on some reality show, screaming at people that are throwing my trash out, so I actively try to clean and get rid of things on a regular basis. This was easier the past eight years because I was moving AT LEAST once a year. Now that I’ve got a “grown up job”, I’m staying in one place longer and it’s easier for things to pile up. Going through my list, I found that I’ve put a few things down that involve cleaning and getting rid of stuff.

There’s a fine line between having a lot of stuff and being a hoarder and I continually walk it. I have a lot of things in boxes at my parents’ house still – things from my room that were boxed up when I got “too old” for them, things boxed up from when my room was being painted, things boxed up from my first college apartment. I know what’s in some boxes – Beanie Babies, Baby Sitters Club books, pictures and mementos – but there are plenty of boxes that I don’t know what’s in them and I can only guess – clothes and homework most likely. My parents keep telling me to go through all this stuff but I’m only home for a few days at a time and looking through boxes in the basement isn’t what I want to spend my time doing. So then they ask if they can just throw them out but they can’t do that – I don’t know what’s in them and I need to see it before it gets thrown out!

I had a total hoarder-style breakdown once. I was thirteen or fourteen and yeah, I had a messy room, I was a teenager. My mom kept telling me to tidy up and go through my piles of stuff, but I hadn’t done anything. One day when my dad and I were out somewhere, my mom decided to do it herself. Her version of cleaning was to just throw everything out. When I came home and saw that my things were missing, I had what could only be described as a panic attack. I remember sitting on the floor of the garage, pulling things out of the trash. One of my friends had passed away a few months before and I was so scared that she had thrown out the binder we had drawn on and the notes we had passed in class. She did. I couldn’t find the notes, but I did manage to save the binder. It’s probably in my parents’ basement now.

I tend to keep things because of the memories associated with them. At some point in high school, I managed to get all of the smaller stuff into a shoebox. That’s completely fine. I have ticket stubs, a signed CD, and a hall pass written out at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001 in the box. My bigger issue is that I wind up hanging on to clothes and clothes take up space. I’m not just talking prom dresses and other important things – I have t-shirts, shorts, sweaters, and pants that no longer fit or I no longer wear that I keep just because of what I wore them to. My mom always questions why I still hang onto them – I have the memory, why do I need the items?

Earlier this month, I went through my dresser and closets and wound up with a pretty sizable pile of clothing that could be donated. I think I did my best to make decisions based on what I would wear. Another incentive was that a Plato’s Closet had just opened in Reading and I desperately needed money after my big Disney trip. I wound up bringing two huge bags to Plato’s, but they only bought a few things. That was the worst – I didn’t care about the money, but I wound up coming home with the stuff and it was hard to resist the urge to take things out of the bags!! Luckily, those bags made it over to Goodwill along with two others.

Clearly I have to work harder than the average person to make sure my living space is clean and organized, but in the past month I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m hoping to go through my clothes again and get rid of even MORE. Also, keep an eye out for a post about cleaning my closet and dresser at home!

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Looking at the List #2

12. Find my bucket list from 2001.

In eight grade, I randomly decided to make a bucket list/scrapbook in one of my old Trapper Keepers. I really don’t know what prompted me to do it. If I recall correctly, there were two occasions that year where we had three snow days in a row. I think it’s safe to say that I might have done this out of boredom.

I can’t remember everything on that list…a few stand out. I wanted to learn a language. I’m not sure if I meant to master a language or just to learn how to say a few key phrases. But twelve years later (!) I know some Spanish and some ASL. That counts, right? I wanted to be a cheerleader. Done. I wanted to be in the newspaper. Julie and I were photographed walking to our busses the next winter. We were on the cover of the News Times. I wanted to visit all 50 states. I don’t think I’ve added too many states to that list since 2001.

I would love to find that list now and see what I wanted to do back then and if I’ve done any of it since. This is a task for the next time I head back to Connecticut!

13. Attend a national Delta Phi Epsilon event

Before I went to college, I never gave much thought to sororities. When I got to college, I swore up and down that I would never join one. And then I did. What happened? I tell people that I was lured into it…these girls I knew from work asked me to come over and make tote bags. Did I want to make a tote bag? Hell yeah, I wanted to make a tote bag! That was on Monday. The next thing I knew, it was Friday and I was nervously waiting in my room for some sorority girls to come knock on my door and change my world.

Early on in life, we’re taught not to stereotype people based on the color of their skin or the language they speak. Stereotypes are false, we are told. So then why is it we still believe in stereotyping people based on other reasons? It’s crazy to think that I crossed off ALL sororities just based off of what I had seen in the media and my interaction with a handful of sorority members from one particular sorority.

I truly enjoyed my sorority experience when I was in college and I managed to turn it into a career! When I was still in grad school, I was looking for ways to volunteer with my sorority as a national organization. Just recently, I became a chapter advisor for a chapter in Philadelphia. It’s been amazing meeting women that are from other chapters and already having something in common with them!

While I have been able to visit our IHQ in Philly, I have yet to go to an event sponsored by them! This past year, they held a Founders’ Day celebration, but it was while I was volunteering in Missouri. Next summer, they are hosting convention in DISNEY WORLD. Unfortunately, I do not think I am going to have the funds to make that trip. In 2017, our sorority is turning 100 and I’m sure they will do something big for that and I hope to be there!

Fall Down

Some of my lovely family members including my big, my little, and her little!!

20. Attend Brick City

My undergrad didn’t have football and when I was a student, they didn’t make any big deal about any sort of homecoming celebration. Granted, when I started at RIT, there was barely any school spirit on campus. Things definitely changed (for the better) while I was there and now Brick City has turned into more of a homecoming celebration. Instead of football, our homecoming revolves around hockey.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend since graduating from RIT. When I first graduated, there were other events that I’d much rather go to. I still knew a lot of students so I would rather see them at sorority or music events. Now that I don’t know too many students, events that draw alum back are better so I can see more of my friends. Last year, Brick City was the same weekend as Albright’s homecoming, which I had to work for. This year, Brick City was the weekend BEFORE Albright’s homecoming, but I was on call since I have my big trip at the end of the month. Hopefully sometime before I’m 30 I can go enjoy a Brick City weekend!!

23. Put $30 in savings for each goal I accomplish

I’ve looked at other peoples’ lists for inspiration and a lot of people have a similar goal. Most that I’ve seen have been $5 or $10…but $30 just seemed better for me…not because I have tons of money rolling in or anything, but if I manage to do all 300, that’s $9000 saved. That seems like a great amount to roll into the next decade with. I don’t know what I’m going to use the money for…maybe a big trip as a celebration? Or maybe I’ll buy a home in my thirties or my first new car and I can use that money to go towards a down payment.