Cleaning out my closet, Polly Pocket edition

In an effort to make the house less cluttered and way more liveable, my family and I have been on a rampage to destroy clutter any and everywhere we find it — just in time to get new furniture, do some painting and really give the place a makeover. We’ll have more space for relaxing and enjoy all the perks of rooms not crowded by belongings we haven’t touched in a decade. And I know that, once we get going, we’ll feel much more free.

And that’s all wonderful and inspiring, friends, except for one tiny issue: actually having to get rid of stuff.

Deep in one of the closets was a plastic storage bin full of the items I’d say are pretty emblematic of my childhood. Among them? My Ewok and Alf dolls; a Teddy Ruxpin (with a cassette tape player, natch); stacks of children’s books, including Dr. Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; my Cabbage Patch doll and her pony friend; My Little Ponies in a variety of colors, but mostly pink; Barbies in various states of disarray; Power Ranger action figures; and . . .

Polly Pockets.

I’m not talking about those new-fangled Pollys with the giant cars and changeable outfits that have basically turned them into miniature plastic Barbie dolls. No, friends, those are an insult to the “classic” Polly Pockets with which I was hopelessly devoted in the ’90s. I’m talking the ones that would fit in the palm of your hand with little “people” the size of your largest fingernail, the ones with pieces you’d lose about a hundred times a day.

The ones your little sister would “borrow,” then lose all of your favorite pieces. And not want to tell you for fear that you’d fly into a 9-year-old rage and have a fit the likes of which the world has never seen.

You know, hypothetically speaking.

As my sister and I were pawing through the bins, one of us would let out a periodic squeal of delight. I knew, logically, that I was supposed to be sorting through my old toys in the hope that I would be able to donate many of them to charity, but actually seeing this stuff again made my chest swell with a sense of don’t ever let this go. I was able to part with a few things and create more space in my bin, but the vast majority of the stuff stayed tight.

And how much room do vintage Polly Pockets take up, anyway? I mean, I can still fit my entire collection in one of the handbags I carry to and from work everyday. And I’m pretty sure I would rather be forced to carry these things around in my purse every single day than to ever part with them.

That green one pictured above? That’s a school, friends. A school with a teacher, a parent and a pigtail-wearing student — complete with cafeteria, restroom, art room, lecture hall, kitchen and dorm. With a swimming pool. A pool in which my Polly can take a little dip in between classes.

Though I’m 24 years old and haven’t felt the familiar click! of the Polly Pocket opening in more than a decade, if you think I sat down and gingerly pulled each tiny piece from the toy . . . you’re right. I might have also gotten my camera out and taken about 75 million macro photos of my Pollys, too.

As we sorted through everything stored in boxes and bins this weekend, the familiar refrain heard ’round my house was, “Well, maybe our kids will want to play with this someday.”

And you know? I have no idea if my future children — adorable little geniuses they’re sure to be — will someday want to play with Polly Pockets. From 1992.

But if they don’t? I will.

And that’s a promise.