Dealing with the precious memories and mementos of our lives can be difficult. It is easy to fall into the trap of keeping too much. This is something we have talked about in this space before but I think it is worthwhile to visit this subject again.
Life is ever changing and so we do collect more and more. Our advice is to keep a sampling of things that remind us of those we love.
One thing I decided to do recently was to transform a mid-sized rubbermaid bin full of my mom’s jewelry (she was quite a collector) into a collage to hang on the wall in my office. Regular readers may know that my Mama died in November of 2017. Check out my project!
Letting go of mementos is hard, especially if you are sentimental. Yet after you go through the process you will feel a sense of lightness. The goal is to make room for what matters most. Memorabilia packed away in dusty boxes in basements and attics doesn’t bring honour to these memories.
If you are saving things for your children think about if this is a loving gesture or a possible future burden. It may be time for an open, honest discussion with your adult children to determine what they think is valuable and worth keeping.
Remember to graciously accept their answers if they don’t see the same value in some items as you do!
Most of us are not willing to let go of all our collections, or the unusable, sentimental objects in our lives. But it is important to periodically go through these items, eliminate some, and decide which still have significant meaning in our lives. Those we decide to keep should be stored and displayed in ways that they can be enjoyed.
A past client Diana shared a story that I love….
“As my family grew out of various stages, I kept a few mementos: a strip of satin from my wedding dress, and the shoes I danced in. Stephen and Heidi’s first shoes, first picture drawn, baby toy. Melinda’s dress from a great grandfather who died just after she was born. It grew to be about 6 rubbermaid flat bins. Not the monstrous one, the side of a small suitcase, each. Sermon tapes from my early Christian life, elegant hats, Christmas play costumes for the kids, a few baby dollies, cards. Lots of cards.
Every time I moved, I would skim through a number of the cases. Each time I got rid of things that held less value, and things that had deteriorated in quality. I have two cases left. I expect to take them with me when I go to the nursing home in old age. My most precious things with the most precious memories attached will keep me company.
I believe people should be aware all their lives, thoughtfully, of what they want to hold and look at when life narrows down to a small room and a frail body. Quantity won’t cut it. And if you are not planning for this now your treasures will get chucked out when your family has to take over life for you, sell your house, move you to a home. They won’t know which small things mean the most. That’s why I decided to create treasure boxes that get “maintained” throughout my life. No one but me knows what I hold really truly dear”.
Thanks Diana! Wise words for us all to consider.
The old adage, “If you love someone, set him free” can be applied to things we treasure also. If you truly love an item, but cannot display it or care for it properly, set it free to go to another home or place where it will be loved, used and valued.
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