Question for my friends: do you throw personal stuff away?

Questionnaire for my friends – when it comes to personal things, do you keep them for the future or do you throw them away after a while? And do you treat documents, books, images, and material stuff differently?

I am a compulsive saver of documents and photos (and books), but tend to throw material stuff away. I know at least one person who has it exactly the other way around.

What about you? Are you a saver or do you throw away? And what kind of stuff do you keep and what do you discard?

Published as two separate posts on Facebook (25 and 26 September 2015), this image generated the following comments:

Kenneth L. Caneva Jesus, Thomas! Are you sure you want to reveal yourself to the world as such a pack rat? I could have put it less kindly . . .

Thomas Söderqvist I AM a pack rat, Kenneth, and I’m PROUD of it. My grandfather was a pack rat too (I’ve got 11 volumes of his daily diaries in my book shelf.) And don’t forget that we biographers just adore subjects who’ve spent their lives as pack rats. When I die my kids can burn it all, but until then … And besides, this is a historical document, a typical example of what a personal phone directory looked like in the days before digital phone books; the current generation have no idea what such a thing looked like. Maybe I should donate it to the local museum?

Kenneth L. Caneva I was teasing you. I’m something of a saver myself–and have all my old address books (Who WERE some of those people?). I’ve often thought that if it hadn’t been for issues of space–and having moved around–I’d still own everything I ever owned. (Ah, the comic books and baseball cards!) But Jane was a tosser, and she infected me.

Anne Lykke Frederiksen Bendix og Edith øverst med rødt

Thomas Söderqvist Kan du huske den telefontavle, Anne? Jag tror faktisk det er dig, der har skrevet TeLeFoN-TaVLe med store bogstaver i midten smile emoticon De første telefonnumre er fra ca. 1974-75 – de sidste fra 1979-80. Det er fantastisk at have sit sociale liv samlet på et stykke pap i det kompakte format på den måde.

Anne Lykke Frederiksen Den husker jeg
Og også mange af de mennesker “der gemmer sig bag” ved et nummer og ja mindes også – de meget forskellige oplevelser forbundet dermed.
Men husker – nu ikke – at jeg har dekoreret den!

Thomas Söderqvist Det er ikke min måde at skrive bogstaver på, og den er for avancerat for at være Sørens eller Annas – så det må nok næsten være dig der har lavet de smukke bogstaver smile emoticon

Thomas Söderqvist Det strejfede mig, men jeg kan ikke huske at hun tekstede på den kunstfærdige måde – men du kan have ret, for nogle nummer er til folk jeg havde kontakt med udelukkende i 1974-75.

Thomas Söderqvist Kenneth, some of the people I’ve met throughout my life were compulsive savers of documents but threw things away (like Niels Jerne!), others did the other way around.

Tom Fisher …I’m not sure many will admit to being a tosser Thomas Söderqvist. I’m married to a chucker of things who hoards documents and am a hoarder of things, but not documents.

Thomas Söderqvist Got it, Tom, I’ve changed the wording accordingly. -)http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=A+-+Tosser

Lotte Thrane Altså, kære Thomas – skal du ikke snart have dig et rigtigt arbejde (igen)?

Thomas Söderqvist Ha, ha! Det her *er* mit arbejde. Jag bruger mig selv som studieobjekt for en autoetnografisk undersøgelse der skal give empirisk tyngde till en teoretisk gennemgang af begrebet ‘succesful ageing’. (Som ifølge min opfattelse må indkorporere den klassiske tradition for selvbiografisk kend-dig-selv-litteratur.) Intet mindre! Jeg er ved at lave en hjemmeside, den bliver snart åben for den måbende offentlighed.

Thomas Söderqvist Og kom så igen, Lotte, samler du på breve, regninger, biobiletter, fotos, etc. etc. eller smider du det hele væk efterhånden?

Thony Christie I keep and then when the piles get too big I chuck.

Lotte Thrane Jeg delagtiggør ikke alverden i det. Hm. Endnu.

Kathy Olesko I would keep that one. Memories.

Thomas Söderqvist Memories is the stuff that life is made of.

Nathaniel Comfort I’m more like you–very hard to throw/give away books, except truly awful ones.

Thomas Söderqvist I can’t even throw away the staples of lousy Swedish crime fiction stories I buy and read during our vacation.