One of the tips that we value at Heart of the Matter and often discuss with our clients is to “keep a sampling” of your special mementos and family treasures. Having boxes packed away in the attic or basement getting dusty doesn’t honour what’s in them. Think of creative ways that you can keep a few special things and then donate the rest. Let someone have the “thrill of the find” at a Thrift Shop when they come across something they will use and love. Much better than being boxed up and collecting dust in your storage area.
Here are a couple of examples in my home. Maybe they will get your creative thoughts flowing……
This little swan in the photo is probably about the only physical item that I have that reminds me of my Nana Schenck. I can remember it sitting on her dresser when I was a little girl sneaking around in her upstairs with my cousins. I also remember it on a shelf in my mom’s bathroom for many years. It has a new life now with me. I used my glue gun to stick it to the board that holds the shelf in my front hall closet. The little opening in the back is the perfect size for my lipstick. I can grab it before I go out of the house, and put it on at the mirror in the front hall. I can’t tell you how often I pause and smile and am grateful for this little reminder of the beautiful lady that my nana was. I don’t need a lot of things, but this sampling does the trick.
These decor items belonged to my Nana and then to my mom. This hat is what my mom wore on her honeymoon. The beautiful hat stand was a thoughtful gift from my friend Sharon after mom died. Right now the orange hat is on display in my grey and yellow office. I have one fancy pink hat of my mom’s that I also have kept. When I get the decorating itch I might switch my yellow office accents to pink and display that hat and pass along the orange one. I have that option 🙂
After my mom died, I was left with these 5 binders which were her memories that she had written. They were definitely a treasure to me (and my cousins) because of the memories and family history they contained.
However, the organizer side of me was concerned about where I would store these binders. I decided to take them apart and photograph the pages and I am in the process right now of putting them into a digital photo book.
It will be easy to print copies for myself and as gifts for my cousins and then the bulk of those 5 binders will be gone. The other upside is that the information is preserved. Mom had originally handwritten her story on paper and then stuck each page into the magnetic/sticky photo albums. Those of us who have used those albums through the years know that they do deteriorate over time. I now have all these memories in a safe protected form that takes up a fraction of the space of the originals.
One of our Top 10 organizing tips is to take photos of mementos and keepsakes and then get rid of the originals. This saves space and also the constant work of dealing with the stuff.
This is a tip to use when thinking about seniors who are rightsizing to a smaller home. Taking pictures and then printing them and slipping the photos into a pocket album can turn into a great housewarming gift. The album can sit in a handy spot and they can go down memory lane anytime they want to!
For more tips on rightsizing, check out our earlier blogs
Some of you may cringe at the idea of more photos and you might need assistance getting them organized. For more tips on that project check out our earlier blogs
Whatever your organizing challenge, we are here to help! We would be honoured to be your success partners, as you get to the Heart of the Matter!