There are two kinds of souvenirs: the type you mistakenly bring home from vacation like stuffed (real) baby alligators playing maracas, and those that are obtained at events. Vacation souvenirs don’t constitute as much of a problem as event souvenirs. Vacations generally involve time, planning and money. They are not everyday occurrences. Therefore, they can only account for so much household clutter.
Stop and think about all of the events you attend on a regular basis. The number might be staggering if you include all of the plays, concerts, sporting events, festivals, trade shows, school productions and recitals, funerals, exhibits, graduations, weddings and fundraisers you are apt to attend. The common denominator that connects all of the aforementioned is that each one supplies a program. The program is a vital source of information while you are in attendance at a performance or exhibition. You can find who’s who in the cast or if there is an intermission or not. This alone allows you to make an informed decision as to whether a preventive trip to the Ladies’ is prudent prior to the first act. It helps you understand a work of art by supplying the context or a program that can assist you with keeping score. The program provides credit where credit is due by identifying those whose made the event possible for others. Programs are often quite beautifully designed. Yet, do any of these furnish the justification for taking these programs home and saving them until hell freezes over? We think not. Programs constitute a particularly noxious strain of C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris), because like their greeting card brethren, they serve as touchstones to the past. Getting them out, once they have penetrated the interior of your home is not unlike trying to extract a chicken bone from your dog’s mouth without risking stitches.
We always encourage our clients to consider giving experiences as ‘gifts’ as opposed to ‘objects.’ The folks we work with are space-challenged enough without bringing more loot to an impossibly overstuffed environment. It would be even better if they were able to experience the meal, theatrical event or massage, without feeling compelled to bring home the menu or brochure as a reminder. Some places even allow you to recycle right on the premises. Leave the printed matter behind and savor the memory.
We bet you are thinking this all sounds harsh. It may appear that way on the surface, but a little bit of pre-cycling can reduce the burden of paper C.R.U.D. that clutters your surfaces, cabinets and counters. There are exceptions, however. If your name or the name a family member appears in the program, you can keep it, providing it gets stored in a memory-bearing receptacle. Other exceptions include programs that have been autographed by famous people or contain 2 for ones at local restaurants.