Files full of memories

Files full of memories - ohhh the stories 22 years of files contain! via

I’ve said it before, and you’ll probably hear me whine 100 times more… purging is hard work. VERY hard.

And it just got harder, because I’ve officially ventured into “The Zone” I’ve been avoiding for a long, long time.

Heap of Change-7970
See those big ‘ol metal file boxes? I’ve never been a fan of them. I mean, they weigh more than the house. I’m a DIY girl and I like to change my mind on where stuff goes. But these guys didn’t allow me to easily. 

But there’s also a reason why they’re so heavy. They hold 22 years of files from my sign business. Every single work order I’ve ever written is stuffed into their own file folder, complete with notes, pictures, drawings, measurements, shopping lists, the works. 

But they have to go. As in, out of this room. There was a reason I had so many issues with the room the way it was.

It’s a room that doesn’t like to share. It wants junk and ONLY junk. So I gotta make that happen.

In other words, I have to let more comfort zones go. See where I’m going now?

Files full of memories - ohhh the stories 22 years of files contain! via
I had gutted the contents of one cabinet into every laundry basket and spare box we had, then we dragged that beast across the tile entry floor on top of a towel.

And when we finally made it to the front door, I heard…

“Is that it?”

“Um… no. It’s going by the… (covering my mouth and muffling)… road.”

I closed my ears off at this point from the complaining because I was too busy brainstorming how on earth we’d get that elephant all the way down the driveway with no dolly.

And right there in the garden bed was one of those vintage mechanic dollies. I meant to hang it on the wall but… you know. Busy purging and all. Why did I leave it in the garden?! No idea. 

We moaned and groaned trying to pick up the cabinet and plunk it on the dolly, but we eventually got there. Sorda. It fell off ‘only twice.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

“Don’t laugh! It’s not funny!”

(oh yes it was… Sanford & Son Moving and Storage, at your service.)

But we got it to the road! One down…

And then today, I had to deal with the other cabinet. So I picked up some file boxes to store the goods, and got to work.

Files full of memories - ohhh the stories 22 years of files contain! via
Once I started filing things, the stories started to emerge.

I felt like I made it to the end of Survivor, where the last tribe reminisces those that left before them. 

Vehicle graphics / Mac tools / pinstriping
And then I found a thick pile of photos of my work from long ago.

The Mac tools guy spotted me striping a firetruck while delivering tools, so he asked if I’d install his company decals for him. Not having a bay to do it in, we did it right there in between the firetrucks. 

Kari use to be my student. I taught signmaking at a local collage for a spell. I hired Kari as a trial, and she stayed with me for a long time.  We installed the seadoo design, which made me think of the cow patches she put on our white storage cabinets, and the hot coffee she always had ready to roll each time I walked into the office. It was nice to think of her again.

I use to pin stripe for every car dealer in town. If they’d sell a car, they’d call me up and have me whip up a custom kit according to a customer’s desires. All the stripes on the car were done free hand with vinyl. 

Jack from The Young and the Restless on
“Oh, hi Jack! How’d you get in here?”

I’ve met Jack from The Young and the Restless twice. I even met Paul. And Katherine. And that other young guy with the dark hair but don’t remember his name. It use to be ‘my soap.’

I use to tape Y&R at 11am every day, then after work, plug in the VCR. Is it still on? I should check… you know, to see who married who by now. Soaps are very close knit families…

Graphic Impact / Donna Williams' 2nd storefront /
Oh wow. This would be opening day at my 2nd storefront. I joined forces with Ryan who detailed cars. We didn’t want to pay full rent for our place, so we split the building with me doing the signs and autographics, and he the detailing (cleaning). It was a great gig! But that black and white checkered floor we picked out was a headache to keep clean. Looked cool though. When clean.

See what I mean? So many stories.

22 years of stories packed into 3 small file boxes took me 7 years to accomplish. It’s a statement. It means that the files will no longer be within easy pull and roll kinda grasp. It’s one more baby step away from the day job, towards the full blown junk direction.

For now, the files full of memories will be stacked on a shelf, to make way for new stories to emerge.

They may sit there for another 7 years before I have the nerve to let them go though… but I’m kinda thinking they have more stories to tell down the line.

Maybe… hmmm… just maybe.

Other firetruck stories are HERE.

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram RSS

Subscribe to projects!

Categories: Blogging, Career building, Inspiration, Personal
Tags: ,

21 thoughts on “Files full of memories

  1. Ah the memories…
    Of high rise jeans, giant bangs full of hairspray, neon colors, super wide t-shirts and more insecurity issues than I could handle.
    Weren’t the eighties weird and wonderful.
    Good luck with the purging and stepping away from the former day-job one more step.

  2. My husband and I just accomplished purging 40 years of teaching materials. Most paperwork went to be shredded, some files kept. The days of using social security numbers as student numbers are long gone – thank goodness!
    I took a few of his lesson plans/drawings to be framed for his office.
    The file cabinets we are donating to a local nonprofit group who had posted a request for such items for their office.

  3. Memories are the greatest things. You got rid of the metal cabinet that held them, but the memories are still there. Thanks for sharing. It was great to hear how you got to where you are!

  4. Ahhh…files. I decided to go paperless years ago. For the most part. If I know where I can access the information I may need, I no longer need to keep paperwork. So, at least that is not a major part of my Heap of Change Challenge! Whew! But. Eventually, I will have to go through Heaps of Photos. THAT will be difficult, and I am not looking forward to figuring out how to save them all. Mine are so old that they came in a little booklet from the developer. Nice and neat. I need to keep that job out of my head for a little while longer. First things first!

  5. Donna you definitely look better now than then! Why not scan he pics and documents you can’t part with “just yet” and store them on your computer? That way you can get rid of the paper files but still know you have them electronically? I try to do that with my “idea” pages. The ones I rip out of a magazine or print off someone’s blog (hint – most are from your blog). That way physical clutter doesn’t stack up and drive the OCD half of my brain nuts! LOL!

  6. This wasn’t a very enviable task, to be sure, but I commend your courage in tackling it! It wasn’t just about some papers…it’s about memories…that means that, not only is your brain and body engaged, your heart is involved, too, which makes it all the harder.

    I enjoyed getting to see the photos you shared and I am sooooooo dying over here that you got to meet Jack! I met Katherine and Jill years ago…Katherine was quite a character…and OMG, Jill had the most beautiful skin I’d ever seen! I, too, have lost track of Y&R over the years, but like file cabinets full of memories, sometimes you have to let go, right?

  7. Great ideas!

    And YES…Y&R is still on. My grandmom watched it and she was at our house during the day. Nadia’s Theme is the theme song, and I loved Nadia Comaneci, the gymnast (1976 Olympics), so I was doing my “thing” in the living room as the show came on. I guess I got sucked in! LOL I gave up watching it tho.

    I saw the pic when I opened up my email and said “Jack?!” LOL!

    I was in the gym the other day and it was on….I saw that Victor Newman is still on it. Nikki is too. Looks like she might have had some “work” done. I hate to say it, but I am not too impressed…she may be heading down the “Joan Rivers way”, sad to say.

    A lot of the old cast is still on it…I just googled. LOL

  8. It’s the memory stuff that stops me dead in my tracks. Kudos to you for diving in! Y&R is still on. I don’t watch anymore but I was a huge fan back in the day for YEARS. Keep up the great work…motivating me as you go along!

  9. I guess you heard of the sad news. Beau Kazer (aka Brock Reynolds)passed away in December. He was 63. I loved his voice.

  10. A Europe friend, where housing is small and storage almost non-existent, built floor-ceiling shelves on 3 walls of a small rm. to hold 3 ring binders, which she labeled and filled with everything from photos to documents. On the 4th. wall of the room is her desk with her computer, etc. As she has time, she scans items for computer storage, which is great in most instances. When my husband had a massive stroke and the ambulance was on the way, I grabbed the 3 ring binder of his medical records from my shelf of 3 ring binders. There was no time to get into the computer and get the info….something to keep in mind.

    At age 63, I tell everyone the first half of my life I accumulated…second half I’m disposing! I ask myself about everything…would my kids want this?

    • I love your organizing ideas and, more importantly for my stage go life, your guiding question about legacy. I’m nearly 59 with my only child far away at college (freshman) and a husband who “collects” just a little. I’m planning a Purge Party (yard sale) this spring and you have just helped me move a bit closer to truly decluttering. Thanks!

  11. It is difficult to purge. I had to do so quickly after my husband died and I had to sell the house. There was 36 1/2 years of stuff to go through. Anything to deal with taxes and over 10 years old was immediately shredded. Then deciding what I need and what I did not took longer. I do not envy you.

  12. Hi Donna ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just want to take a minute to say how much I enjoy your site. I can’t tell you how…freeing (freeing?) ๐Ÿ™‚ it is to read your blog and actually CONNECT with what your saying! There never seems to be any kind of “judgment” in your suggestions or statements, if that makes any sense. As an example, when telling the story of moving that heavy cabinet, you said you came across your vintage mechanic dolly in one of your garden beds. Lol! Which you had intended to hang on a wall & you have no idea why/how it ended up in the garden bed! hahaaa! I LOVE that! That is ME! Can I tell you how FREEING ;)it is to know I’m not alone (which is probably not an accurate description. I KNOW there must be MANY of us out there like that!) But maybe more to the point, that you ACTUALLY WRITE about it! hahaa! Who cares! ๐Ÿ˜€ I am CONSTANTLY judging myself on EVERYTHING, including things like that! But you’re right out there sharing it with everyone! And I absolutely love it!
    So thank you very much! And thank you for the challenge to purge! (can’t think of the correct name right now!) Thank you for your projects! Thank you for sharing your stories! When I need some motivation its nice to have a place to go to find it!

    (oops!Long comment!)

    • Haha, you just made ME laugh, Debbie! I’d be the last person to judge… that would mean I’d have to be perfect first and I’m not even 5% of that, so no chance there! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Debbie! So glad you could be inspired with so much normalcy. ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Wow, I know how it feels to need to move something heavy. You did good! I’ve used cardboard instead of a towel or I’ve gone in search of a he-man neighbor. Or just have said to myself, “I can move this! I can move this!” and I did. I can’t wait to see what you do with the room.

    I’m not doing the big purge because I already did it in getting my house on the market at the end of October. Oh, the things that were tossed and shredded! After my mother died in 2003, we moved all of her stuff to this house and I never went through it until this year.

    Good luck to all who are purging and cleaning.

  14. I love going down Memory Lane. These pictures were great! Wouldn’t want to do the fashions again, but wouldn’t mind reliving some of the “old days.” Keep on purging! You’re doing great!

  15. Aah, those metal file cabinets are heavy, Hubby and I purged our Black 4 drawer huge albatross and he was such a sweetheart to take it away! Hence the first 3 feet of my office/everything space being free of clutter! Now if I could just keep going…squirrel!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *