Sorting Keepsakes, Heirlooms and Memorabilia

September 7, 2009 by  

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This is the statement I hear time and time again. I have to say that I am not immune to it either. There are always things that are special from our loved ones, that we do not want to part with. I am not saying you have to part with all of it either. But there needs to be a limit to what you keep.
The problem lies when people can’t get rid of any of it. If it isn’t something that you are able to have out and enjoy to remember those who gave it to us, owned it before us or made it…then why keep it?
I will tell you what my husband said to me just today as we were going through a box of his departed fathers belongings…(I posed the same question to him). He said,….”So that I can keep it packed in a box and every 10 years or so go through it and remember it.” But really…think about it. Is that really worth the space it may be taking up?
I suppose if you have the extra storage space for it…that would be fine, but many of us do not have the space.
It is the memories we want and cherish usually more than the actual item.

So what do you do?
1) Evaluate how important it REALLY is.
a) Do you love it? Or do you feel “obligated” to keep it?
b) Can you use it or display it?
c) Is it valuable?
d) Do you have room for it?

2) If you decide to keep it you need to decide:
a) How can I use it?
b) Do I have room to display it?
c) Do I have room to store it?
d) If I think its worth something, then how will I get that value out of it?

3) If you decide to store it you need to decide:
a) Where?
b) Why?
c) How will this benefit me in this box? (Limit yourself to 1 box per family member)
d) Does it bring a positive memory? Let go of things that bring a negative memory.

How can I keep the memories without keeping the item? Here are some ideas.
1) Take pictures of it. Works for artwork too, pose your child with their pictures & take a picture of them.
2) Take small items and use in a display or shadowbox or display cabinet.
3) Pictures can be made into jewelry. Here is an Etsy site that I think is great.
4) Make it into a quilt. (Watch for an upcoming review and giveaway of one of these!)
5) Make a memory notebook or album. You can use pictures or small items in it.

You do not have to have the item to have the memory.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Sorting Keepsakes, Heirlooms and Memorabilia”
  1. Great post, Sandy. I think that this is something that we all have to deal with at some point. Working for Zwaggle, we see this a lot with parents having trouble letting go of their kids’ items. But, we also see a lot of happiness when they end up giving those items to families or charities that really need and want them! One of my biggest problems is t-shirts… I have concert t-shirts, t-shirts from vacations, from high school or college; but I don’t want to get rid of them (even though I don’t wear most of them). I’m thinking that I might try and make them into a quilt or something so that I can keep them and make some use out of them!

  2. karenM says:

    Great tips! I started cleaning closet when the each one of the kids got married and slowly cleaned up closets. Now the grandkids have all the cabbage patch kids, quilts,books at their homes. I had to threaten to donate them if they did not pick them up.. they scrabbled pretty fast to help clean up clutter. Now they appreciate what I saved when they were younger for their kids.

  3. OH my you must of snuck in my house and seen all the treasures I am over loaded with thing that should go to someone else and I can’t bare to part with them cause they were my grandmothers. I can’t evaluate them either I fear she may be watching and wondering Why would you give that away
    So it will sit til my children evaluate after I’m gone :)

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