Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 8. What do I do with all my MEMORABILIA?

By
Education & Training with House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

As we age, we seem to have huge collections of memorabilia – those are things that we keep that remind of someone, somewhere, or sometime in the past.  The biggest problem with memorabilia is that it can get out of control and take valuable space and peace of mind.  If you are downsizing, there may not be enough room for your things. 

 Everyone is sentimental about something.  We want to be and it is good to have a sentimental side.    Here are some guidelines on keeping and storing sentimental items:

  •  If you treasure it, treat it like a treasure and not something thrown in the basement, garage or attic on a falling apart box. 
  • Sometimes a photo of the treasure is enough to remember it and then you can let go of the item itself – children’s artwork, mom’s cabinet, your old cheerleader outfit (that doesn’t fit), etc. 
  • Rather than saving all of the estate of someone, sell it and then donate the proceeds in their name.  (my 5***** hint)
  • Start and maintain a keepsake box – with old family/love letters, newspaper clippings, certificates, etc.  Write on the back of the item who, what, when, where, etc.   If someone finds your box, they will not know why you were keeping these items.
  • It is okay to stop collecting something and to sell off or give away the collection.  I finally started giving away my grandmother style porcelain flowers.    Some collections get huge and take over your life.  I know sewing and quilting addicts that have old fabric that they will never use but keep it because they remember the day they bought it. 
  • Watch out for telling people that you collect something.  Before you know it, you will have dragon fly pins, cups, shawls, pictures, paperweights, etc. etc.  How can you possibly stop the collection?  Where can you store everything and what is going to happen when you fall in love with something else?  You have to let people know that “dragon flies” are just not your thing anymore.  You will have to go and HARVEST the collection and start giving it away. 
  • Some collectibles are seasonal  and need to only be displayed for a short time each year.  When unpacking or packing up between the seasons, it is the perfect time to evaluate what to keep and what to let go to a new home.

 Displaying your memorabilia is part of decorating; storing or parting with them is part of clutter control.


The links to the earlier posts:  

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 1. What can I do about all that paper?

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 2. What about my safety deposit box?

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 3. What about all my books?

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 4. What about all my photos?

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 5. How Do I Sort Through My Photos?

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 6. What can I do about my linen closet?

Downsizing Boomers - FAQ 7. Do I have to KEEP those horrible gifts?

 

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Rainmaker
574,640
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

Gail:  It is a difficult vow to keep.  You have to be vigilent about keeping the collections in check.

Tim:  You and I are similar.  Don't like it, don't use it, don't want it.  Bye. Bye.

Sharon:  I hope people see your great stuff and that it flies out the house.  Good luck with the garage sale.

Jo:  China!  how wonderful but it does take space.  Still, all of those antique shows and sales have china that is difficult to resist.  

June 06, 2012 04:29 AM
Rainmaker
574,640
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

Janice:  I have some friends who are saving furniture for their kids - that I am sure their kids will NEVER take.  Kijiji is good and you would be surprised what people will buy.

Ellen:  Watch out - that wonderful mother of yours could make your home her museum.  LOL

June 06, 2012 04:31 AM
Rainmaker
574,640
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

Lloyd:  Well, if you can't remember then the kids will certainly not know what things have sentimental value.  Of course, there could be the secret stash of cash hidden in the book collection so best to flip through the pages before boxing them up to go.  LOL

June 06, 2012 04:33 AM
Rainmaker
945,633
Sharon Tara
New Hampshire Home Stager
Sharon Tara Transformations

HUGE success!  The stuff flew out and we made more than we ever expected.  One full jeep to Goodwill was all it took to empty the garage after all was done.  Many comments throughout the day about "best yard sale ever" and "yard sale to top all yard sales!"  Couldn't be happier!

June 11, 2012 04:12 PM
Rainmaker
574,640
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada

Sharon:   Yippee.  I am so glad for you.  It must have been a hoot to see people picking through all of those treasures, paying for them and giving them a new home.  Now you will have more space - just for you.  

June 13, 2012 06:43 AM
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Valerie Zinger

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