Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the violin

Thank you for sending in your stories to include in my upcoming book: Our Stories, Our Stuff: The Special Meaning Behind the Things We Keep.

Here's a story shared by a member on the network group that I moderate on Ryze:


"... I am having a hard time getting rid of...

...A violin that my father got me for my 10th birthday. (over 30 years ago). I was in a school at the time that gave free music lessons. My father had to borrow money to get the violin because he knew I wanted one and the school only gave lessons to those who had their own instruments. I only took lessons for 3 weeks before I transferred to a school that didnt offer music lessons and we couldnt afford lessons on our own. Even when we could afford lessons eventually I never went back to taking lessons because as I got older I got interested in other things. But the fact that my dad went out of his way (and incurred debt at a time we couldnt really afford it) to buy me this special gift still means the world to me today. I guess I kept it thinking someday my children would want to take lessons or someday I would have time for lessons myself again. So far that hasnt happened, but maybe my grandchildren could use it someday? Either way, I just cannot part with it and I don't think I ever will!"

Submitted by Angie Cyr


Thanks for sharing your story Angie!

If you have a story about an item in your life that you're holding on to, feel free to email me: stories@sort-things-out.com and we'll post it here.

Eva Abreu

Monday, February 18, 2008

the stereo console

We had a great discussion on Sunday, Feb. 17th at The Ranconteur in Metuchen NJ, sharing "Our Stories, Our Stuff". One of the topics that we spoke about was the process of releasing and how it made it a little bit easier when we could find a "home" for the items that we were ready to release.

Even though we were talking about inanimate objects, somehow, we realized that we have connected with things on another level that defies logic; things which have been part of our lives at some point and have a special meaning for us. And which others around us have absolutely no clue and cannot understand why we have this sort of attachment to our "stuff".

I shared the story about how I found a listing for a stereo console on Freecycle about 2 years ago, which I was very interested in. Some background info: I grew up playing albums and listening to the radio on a stereo console, made in Germany, which was built like a beautiful piece of furniture, with a lid that lifted up on the top to display the turntable and radio dials. It had the old style tube amp, which gives that rich bass sound that you just can't match anymore. I have great memories of it. In fact, I think that's how I developed the interest in becoming a disc jockey when I was in college. To my dismay, my dad ended up throwing away our beloved stereo several years ago. I wanted an old fashioned stereo console of my own to enjoy and have my kids enjoy too, like I did when I was growing up.

When I saw the Freecycle listing, I sent an email to the person offering and they replied back saying that it was mine if I wanted it. It belonged to a couple who was retiring to Florida and didn't have the space or the desire to move it. They purchased it in the 1970's and their kids grew up listening to and playing the stereo too. For the couple, they were thrilled that their stereo was going to a new home, to a new family who would enjoy it and take care of it. I could tell that the husband was genuinely happy that another generation would grow up enjoying the music played on their stereo. When we got it home and in place and plugged in, the sound that came from that stereo was even better than what I imagined it would sound like.

I've since received some older LP albums from another Freecycle member, and my children and I have enjoyed listening to those old records, complete with all the pops and clicks, and that big "bomp" sound that you hear (and feel) when the needle of the turntable arm is first lowered and lands on the album.

What's your story? What do you own in your life that has a story or special meaning behind it? Email your original story and pics to stories@sort-things-out.com and I'll post it here (keeping it family-friendly please) and will consider it for inclusion in my upcoming book, Our Stories, Our Stuff.

Thanks for joining us and sharing.

Eva, www.Sort-Things-Out.com

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Welcome to Our Stories, Our Stuff!

Do you have a story to share about a special item that you are keeping and can't bring yourself to throw away?

I'm looking for your stories to include in my upcoming book, "Our Stories, Our Stuff: The Special Meaning Behind the Things We Keep"

There are sentimental reasons why we hold on to certain items. It may not make any sense to others, but to us, there's a certain emotional connection that we have with our stuff, which is difficult to explain.

What may be clutter to one person, is someone else's priceless treasure.

As a professional organizer who works with clients to help them de-clutter and organize, I can relate, not only because I see the struggles that my clients go through everyday, but also because I'm not born organized and I probably have a hoarding gene (if there is such a thing!) that makes me want to hold on to certain things in my life. So... I fully understand and can relate.

Feel free to share your story. Email your stories and photos (keeping it family-friendly please) to: stories@sort-things-out.com . Please include your contact info for verification (your name, email address, mailing address, phone number) which we'll keep confidential. I'll post your stories here on this blog, with the chance of including it in my upcoming book too.

Looking forward to receiving your story!

Eva Abreu