I had a really sweet message from als_wonderland
on my phone for well over a year. I kept saving it because it cheered me up whenever I heard it. I accidentally deleted it yesterday when I was cleaning up new messages and didn't realize it until today. I am very bummed. "Hey Lady. Imagine..."
I tend to keep things because they have memories attached to them. I know it drives Brian nuts because some things really could be considered trash-worthy, but if there is a strong good memory attached to it, I keep it.
Sometimes subsequent memories aren't so good, and seeing the object will bring those up if I think on it too long. But mostly, the objects represent wonderful memories of a point in time. I think I attach memories because I lose so many details about the past. I forget quite easily. So attaching a good memory to an object anchors that.
Flip side is that there are some things that have bad memories attached and I never get over that. After nearly 30 years, I still can't hear "A Whiter Shade of Pale" without becoming intensely angry with a memory that seemingly can't be separated.
Looking around my living room, I have dozens of good memory items everywhere. It's nice to focus on one and remember. It really does amaze me how strong some of them can be when I hold the object.