Purging Petronilla part 2: 112 things in 01/2012

And here is part 2 of our January purging efforts!

While the first half was mainly championed by me (as my husband was occupied with a series of post-burglary door-securing projects), the second half was mainly championed by him.

Go baby go!

It all took place in our 2nd bedroom, which is the residence of lots and lots of papers. Academic papers and articles my husband has printed out over the years, a file of my papers including old college stuff, childhood stuff, drawings, poetry, etc.

Papers are one of the hardest things to purge, because before throwing them away I usually feel the need to check each and every one. Which takes loads of time. And if I form an emotional connection with the paper in question that I’m reviewing because it stirs up memories of our early dating years, or my triumphant A+ in that one French class, then it becomes hard to throw away.

But we forged through! Not quite mercilessly . . . but a little mercilessly.

We got rid of well over 60 things–old checkbook covers.

My husband’s old Dark Shadows catalogue.

My old manuscript-style study of the book of Mark.

It was the most intense, amazing, satisfying, brain-stimulating study of the Bible I’ve ever done. And it involved lots and lots of colored pencils.

InterVarsity (the Christian campus organization that we belonged to as undergrads) loves their colored pencils. I remember thinking “how childish!” when I was first introduced to this technique of studying the Bible, but a mere 20 minutes after thinking this, I realized how great the color-coordinated marks are for seeing patterns in the text.

Sigh. I loved my undergrad life.

But it’s over. To the trash with you!

I also purged more old college syllabi.

Goodbye Intro to Criticism!

Jonathan Elmer did a fantastic job with that course . . . but am I really going to read through all my notes ever again? Probablement non.

When all was said and done, after this year’s purge I only kept the materials from one solitary poetry class and one lone French class. Maybe those can go next year, we’ll see.

Things that we uncovered that did NOT get purged:

My friends! Big Hermie, Little Hermie, Kaiser and Winston. I always thought of Kaiser’s name as spelled Cizer, by the way. It feels important that I should disclose how his name is spelled in my heart.

And my sheet music!

That ain’t goin’ nowhere soon.

This is just a tiny stack pictured, but there’s tons of it–a box full. Piano music, vocal music, choir music, classical guitar music, violin music. And it all must stay. That stuff’s expensive, man. And I totally want to take up the violin again once we’re in a more sound-proof apartment where I won’t die of guilt when the sreeching noise of my ineptitude fills the room.

By the end of our paper-purging evening, we had two huge trash bags going to the dumpster.

And it felt gooooood. With a couple empty file boxes, I was also able to find a new and safer place for my camera equipment.

Next year we’ll have to do 113 things, and I’m already looking forward to it. Not that we can’t purge throughout the year (we will! especially if we move) . . . but there’s something to be said about doing it as a joint project with your more-than-willing spouse, and feeding off of each other’s enthusiasm.

Until next year, Petronilla!

18 thoughts on “Purging Petronilla part 2: 112 things in 01/2012

  1. Joanne

    Purge on my friend!

    I have so many old essays, etc. that I really just need to give up. What am I ever going to do with them?

    I also have tons of sheet music…but like you said, it’s staying put. Ever and anon.

  2. Sarah

    Hooray for exfoliating what we don’t need anymore! So hard to get rid of paperwork, isn’t it? I also have a tough time throwing away college material. Little by little, I am making progress. Loved reading this, Jenna!

  3. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon

    Our basement is in desperate need of a good clean out and overhaul. But I don’t know if I have the strength to do it since I still haven’t been able to convince The Mistah that we don’t need all that stuff.

  4. Krista

    I love manuscript studies! I was introduced to them by one of our pastors, who, incidentally, was involved in (possibly leading?) InterVarsity at Northwestern. Must be their study of choice.

  5. Jen Beach

    I’m a fan of purging, but I confess that my Mark manuscript is a tough one to get rid of. Whenever I see (which is every time I get out my papers to work on taxes) I think of how great it would be to review it, revisit themes, questions and observations. I also start to think that I should finish it because we never made it quite to the end in Mark II.

    Maybe next year…

  6. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    great job! two comments.

    first, throwing out old Bible study stuff is so hard! for me, it almost feels sacrilegious or something. not true at all, ugh, but it’s still difficult. good job!

    second, i love that your stuffed animals are your friends. cause mine are too. and they live on our bed. and they were in our wedding pictures. well, one photo at least, since we traded them long distance the year we were engaged and lived 5 hours away. ben & i are really weird. haha! 🙂

  7. Layla

    That Bible study class seems really interesting, is there something like that in Delaware…or online? Any info. you can tell me would be great (if it exists, not sure if it was exclusive to that specific group).

    Also I counted, my next purging blog entry will have my total at 55, I will need to work in to February, but I purge so much throughout the year, I think it’s partly why things are sort of scarce, but that’s good, it might mean the difference between being on the fence of if I should get rid of things, and actually DOING it, knowing it will help me reach that “goal #” of 112!

    I have another question, it seems you continually go to Bible study classes, am I right? I went to classes assuming, once you’re done that class, you’re done “needing Bible study”, but… I don’t think I ever thought to find more classes to continue with, which I’m re-considering, it seems to make sense to continue with it as a routine like basis.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hey Layla! Yep, we’ve pretty much always been involved in some Bible study or another, usually through whatever church we’re in at the time. In Delaware we went to Evangelical Presbyterian (Old Possum Park Road, maybe?) and were part of some great Bible studies. The focus is usually on spiritual growth through what we’re learning in the text itself, prayer, and fellowship with other believers. The Mark one I mentioned is at this link: http://www.intervarsity.org/bible-studies/bible-study-of-mark-intro
      In my experience there is so much to the Bible that I’ll never be done studying it. Are you in a church right now? If you’re interested I could send you the email address of our pastor there.

      1. Layla

        Fifth Third Bank….what a mouthful! LOL!

        Anyway yeah any info on Delaware Churches or Bible studies would be great. I have a great church that I recently learned of, and know I want to be at, but I need to find something that would be ok with me attending an evening service from time to time, for the times that my sleeping issues cause me to miss day time Church.
        I understand that’s an odd request, but I’d check with the Church first and see if they are ok with that.

        Your blog is actually helping me learn HOW to be closer to God.
        It seems so easy but it’s not…I could go on and on explaining that better…. I started to write it but deleted it. It’s too long to go on about how differently I was taught in a negative way, and quite honestly I don’t want to share negative stuff publicly on the blog here.

        So back to the topic; yes please, any info would be appreciated! Thanks!

      2. Jenna Post author

        Layla, I’m shooting you some stuff via email. I understand about not wanting to share negative stuff in public, but if you want to talk via email, you know where to find me!

  8. Amy

    Wow, that method of manuscript study looks like it could work really well, especially for a visual learner like me. I’m about to start a Lit. class in a few weeks and would love to give it a go. Do you have any information about how it works, or know of any websites or anything like that?

    P.S. – Way to go on the purging. I love the feeling of “lightness” I get after throwing away a bunch of stuff that I don’t really need.

  9. Aunt Jacquie

    Maybe we should have a family weekend of bringing old college and grad school and elementary and high school papers for a share then keep or toss session. That sharing would be fascinating.

  10. Veronica Miller

    While I congratulate you, I just can not part with old papers myself. I actually have a box for every year that I stuff papers into–all the cards I get, letters I receive, movie stubs, fortunes from fortune cookies, etc. I’ve only been doing that for 8 years so it’s not taking up a lot of space yet (the boxes are relatively small) but I imagine when I get up there in years, I’ll be ready to see it go. But what fun I’ll have while going through all those memories.

  11. Twinky

    My heart took a leap when I saw the Hermies and Kaiser, and Winston!! WHEW!! So glad they are still safe in your good keeping… and the sheet music, too! There’s a future to all that glorious (pricey) paper. My purging will come, it will come…..


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