Memory goldmine: The benefits of spring cleaning

Handwritten note circa 2005, on flight to NYC

This weekend I began the dreaded, often-ignored task of cleaning out old files and folders tucked away in my storage closet. I loathe the thought of yet again wondering what to do with my retired cell phones or whether I should keep those 10-foot ethernet cables, if that’s even what they really are.

The bright side of this drudgery is uncovering the fun things that are tucked away between the pay stubs and check registers. Pictures, journals, video tapes. My boring old files turned out to be a goldmine of memories of the past five years or so.

Reading through my old travel notes and looking at the printed out pictures, I realized how nice it is to actually have these things in paper form. Sure, I back everything up to the cloud and treasure the instant access to information that the iPhone affords me, but there’s no way I would have kept this travel note if it had been on my phone.

The note here is from one of my first trips to NYC, in 2005, three years before I moved there. I went with two of my best friends during what we thought was “spring break,” and realized that on the east coast that can and did involve blizzards. It didn’t stop us from trekking through the Gates in Central Park, though, or hitting up happy hours. (Since we were on a budget, much of our pre-trip planning involved scoping out cheap happy hours.)

As I plan for an upcoming trip to Florida, I think I may just go back to this old-school way of taking notes. When I clean out my closet in 2018, I’ll be glad I did. (And then I can officially make the theme of this blog “handwritten travel notes.”)


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