Purge with care

The top of our refrigerator has become our version of my parents’ roll-top desk. For us, it is the place where “I’ll deal with it later” things like junk mail, odds and ends, and other assorted crap end up.

I was cleaning out our makeshift junk repository when I saw this heart-shaped box.

heart-shaped box

This heart-shaped box contained a Valentine’s Day gift for the wife.

I thought, “Oh yeah, I remember that. I went to the $1 store and picked up some cheap stuff to use for Valentine’s Day.” We must have forgotten to do something with it, but since it was on top of the refrigerator, that wasn’t a big surprise.

I was about to throw it away, but my wife, Amy, decided to look inside real quick. It’s a good thing she did.

heart-shaped box with money in it

Turns out, the box has $20 cash and and $25 gift card in it. Glad we didn’t throw that away!

Inside the box was a $20 bill and a $25 Visa gift card.

Good grief.

There are a few takeaways from this near miss:

  • Have a system in place to handle your gift giving and receiving event. My aunt once threw away a $50 bill by accident one year. After the family unsuccessfully dug through the trash, it was decided it likely got burned up when my grandfather took the trash out earlier that day (country living means you burn your trash).
  • Even though it was “just a dollar,” I spent money on packaging for a gift that has been forgotten for months. I donated the box to Goodwill. What was the point of that again?
  • Some types of gifts might not be the best choice for the person, or, at the time. I’m sure my wife likes to get gifts, but let’s face it: it clearly didn’t appear to add value to her at that time, otherwise she might have been more aware of her gift’s disappearance (she claims that’s not the case, but I’m skeptical). Perhaps I need to learn more about my wife to see what kind of gift would be a better choice.

The main point is: purge with care. Take a moment and review what you’re throwing out, because you might be throwing out more than just stuff.

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