This weekend, Anne and I cleaned out our garage again, but this time instead of just moving things around and re-organizing them, we opened up boxes and actually got rid of as much stuff as we could. She kept saying, "I don't want our kids to have to do this when we die, because we held on to a bunch of crap."
Of course, by "we" she actually meant "me," because I have accumulated so much material bullshit over my 34 years, I can go into my garage once a year or so, and throw out 1/2 the stuff that's in there. I know this violates several basic mathematical laws, but it is backed up by several years' worth of trials.
Whenever I do this, I feel a rush of freedom and serenity as I find and jettison things that were once very important to me, but are now simply "more bullshit I don't need." This time, however, I also paused to remember why the stuff I was keeping deserved to be kept: my grey fleece jacket from TNG, my original printing of Hacker Crackdown and box after box of comics, scripts and call sheets from nearly every movie I've worked on, hundreds of photographs I took when I lived in Nice filming Mr. Stitch, and a three big Rubbermaid tubs filled with bits of Star Trek memorabilia that would be collector's items to Trekkies, but are heirlooms for me.
It wasn't all good: some rats chewed up and destroyed a lot of things which had sentimental value to Anne (causing my devotion to not poisoning those little motherfuckers to undergo a serious reevaluation) and when we were finished, it still felt like we needed to get rid of half the stuff that's in there.
However, once the surviving stuff was stored and stacked, we both felt better about it than we did when we started. It was like we did a little springtime pruning, ensuring that though we still have too much stuff, our stuff doesn't own us.
Except for my vast collection of classic SF books. That stuff totally owns me.
Err, pwns. Yeah. That's it.