The question I ask myself when I come across a dusty box under the bed is, “If this is so important emotionally, why aren’t I taking better care of it?” Stuff that needs to be kept but has no emotional impact, like out of season coats and boots, can go under that dusty bed. Perhaps Grandma’s needlepoint deserves something better. -- Louise Hornor, in a comment on Unclutterer
I've been thinking about memorabilia lately - partly because I'm cleaning up my bookmarks on that subject, and partly because a dear friend just died - and her daughter is now dealing with the "all that stuff" issue, as well as her grief. (By the way, this is why I've been a bit light on blog posts lately.)
Today, I'm going to focus on the whole idea of honoring those items we choose to save. Many of my fellow organizers have addressed this subject, and I'd like to share their wisdom.
Here's what organizer Scott Roewer said on the subject:
My clients can keep whatever they want. ... However, I do expect them to know what they have, be able to find what they keep, and to honor the memories in their lives.And organizer Lorie Marrero writes:
I tell them a memory isn’t a memory if it’s in a dark corner of the closet or in a box in the basement - it’s just stuff. So, we work on honoring those memories and not personifying the object. I’ll offer ideas, such as photographing the quilt grandma made in 1960. You know the one - it’s Harvest Gold, has holes from moths, and is so scratchy you’ll never use it. ... The visual of the blanket is what the client wants to hold on to, not the scratchy blanket.
If you must keep it, honor it and enjoy it. Don't just stash it away. Find a way to display it and make it a part of your life.Here's one example of someone honoring precious items: heirloom recipes were framed and displayed. (As organizer Tanna Clark says, it's best to make copies of them before doing this.)
And organizer Aby Garvey shares a way that someone displayed her dad's old fishing lures and bobbers.
[Photo: Needlepoint done by photographer Anthony Catalano's grandmother, licensed under Creative Commons]