As 1999 came to a close (and the Y2K bug had people in a frenzy), our family decided to put together a time capsule. So we gathered all the treasures we felt best represented the ‘90s, and packed them in a Rubbermaid container. We labelled it ‘Time Capsule’ and added the warning: ‘Do not open until 2025’.
Since then, the kids have left for University and we’ve downsized. Our primary storage area consists of a ‘cool room’ under our small front porch. We maximized the space by adding sturdy wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling shelving.
But as of late, the ‘cool room’ had become the ‘damp room’. Water was getting in and we had to do something fast. We had a specialist come and seal the walls to fix the water leaking issue. So of course everything had to be hauled out of the room. As we waited for rain to ensure that the water issue was truly resolved (it seemed like the driest month ever!), the contents of our storage room was spread all over the basement. And that’s when it hit me: Although everything is stored neatly in clearly labelled, blue Rubbermaid bins, we still have too much stuff!
So I decided to open every container and see what can be purged and what can be consolidated. As I rubbed my hands together with glee, my family members started grumbling…”Here she goes again”. My goal was to have fewer bins to put away once the room was ready.
Eventually, I came across the time capsule. Do we really want to store this for another 10 years? Well, since we were in purge-mode, the answer was ‘no’. So I made an event out of it. I gathered the entire family together, we popped a bottle of champagne, and cracked open the time capsule. To say the contents were rather disappointing would be an understatement. Old newspaper clippings and magazines with Princess Diana on the cover after her tragic death, a People magazine featuring the 25 Most Intriguing People of ’99, and some toys the kids no longer cared about (Sailor Moon, Tamagotchi and Crazy Bones).
Just for fun, I went online to see if any of this stuff was worth something. Others were selling some of the same stuff, but there were no bids. Nobody wanted it.
There was one magazine I thought for sure was worth something. Sports Illustrated, Nov.2, 1992, with the Toronto Blue Jays on the cover, the year they became The World Series Champions. Surely someone would want this piece of sports memorabilia, especially since they just clinched the AL East title. So I posted it. And there are still no bids. Lesson learned.
It’s funny how we think our old stuff is worth something, when our space and peace of mind is worth so much more!
So the contents of the time capsule went to charity or the recycling bin (although the Sports Illustrated is still for sale on eBay as I write this blog post).
The storage room walls and floor got a fresh coat of paint, the shelving units are back in, and we have fewer bins and enough space to stockpile as much toilet paper, paper towels and cases of water as we want – without having to cram anything in. Oh, and we added a wine-rack which is fully stocked and ready for the next celebration! It looks – and feels – fantastic!