Creating Space for Items The Mean the Most, Ditching the Ones That Don’t, and Preserving Core Memories With Intention
We often end up with things in our lives that are passed down from a cherished family member or given to us during the passing of a loved one. More often than not, the “value” of the item lies in this: someone we loved gave it to us.
But what do we do with all the stuff that may not fit into our lives? How do we hold onto the memories without holding onto the things? Let’s determine how to accept gifts gracefully. Let's also discover how they do not need permanent residence in your home.
You have a decision to make: love it or leave it. At Organized by Keli & Co, we come across multiple scenarios where family members acquire possessions. These are two of the most common ones:
A parent or loved one has passed, and the person inherits all the things, which leaves them with an overwhelming sea of stuff.
Generational gifts get passed down; this may be an item or an entire collection, and the person is not quite sure what to do with it/them.
Making the Decision: Love It or Leave It
So, how do we help people decide whether they should love or leave it? There are a series of questions you can ask yourself about the items to determine whether you should keep them or if it is time to let them go. It may seem systematic, but with so much emotion swirling around the items, being present and honest with yourself is necessary.
Do I have space for it in my home?
Does it feel like a weight or burden?
Is this a good time to decide, or do I need time to become emotionally stable?
Use your answers to help you determine if you are going to love or leave the prized possession(s) left to you.
If you have recently lost a loved one and the emotions are still strong, it may not be the best time to decide if you want to keep the item(s) in question. Holidays are the worst time to go through emotional belongings, so we always encourage people to put them aside until after the holidays have passed.
Typically, acquiring these prized possessions happens during a highly emotional time. You are not required to make immediate decisions. It can take months to fully decide whether the items your loved ones have passed on are something you choose to carry forward.
As the receiver, you need to remember this: it was never the giver's intent to burden you. If an item or a collection no longer serves you, it is okay to let go of them. If the item(s) remain relevant and serve your present lifestyle, it makes sense to keep them. However, they need to have a designated place in your environment.
There are many ways you can keep your prized possessions and honor your parents or grandparents. There is no right or wrong way to cherish gifted items. Ultimately, organizing them within your home is necessary.
We have gathered some tips and tricks for immersing these well-loved keepsakes in your home.
Depending on the item, there are many options for displaying them. If it is artwork, hang it on a wall. If you have knickknacks and baubles, a wall shelf or sofa table may be just the spot for your items. An entire collection of figures, china, or other collectibles is best displayed in a large curio cabinet if space allows.
If you live in a home tight on space and there is very little room to display an entire collection, consider displaying just a select few and swapping them out every few months to refresh the space.
You are not required to keep your Grandma’s 20 or 30-piece china set if you are only in love with one teacup. Keep the items that matter the most and find a new home for the others. No rule says an entire collection has to remain together.
You are not required to cherish the collection in its entirety. If your current space does not allow the entire ensemble to be displayed or stored, it is time to evaluate it.
My Granner was the most important person in my life. So many things about her were important to me, and I cherish our memories together like they were yesterday. I wanted to find a way to always have those memories with me in a personal collection of my own. It had to be an item I could bring anywhere I went. Although I had my pillow, a story I've told in a past blog, I wanted something more.
I sat down and made a list of the core memories we had together. I used those memories to create a shadowbox. Each little space in the shadowbox has a small item that is significant to the memories of my Granner. This one item is how I honor her without the burden of all her things in my space.
If you feel overwhelmed by the number of things left to you, try finding your own creative and remarkable way to cherish that person. I am not saying you need to make a shadowbox. But, make your own version of your core memories to carry on with you.
The things we carry throughout our lives are important to us, but that doesn’t mean the people who come into them will feel the same. Parents and grandparents, remember that you can gift your children and grandchildren an item or two that means something to them. You can offer them something of value.
But, before you burden them with all the things, consider working with Organized by Keli & Co. to downsize your belongings and make the process easier and less emotional for your loved ones down the road.
Before things get out of hand and unfortunately dumped on your family members, take the time to work with our team on editing your belongings. As you get older, learn to live in the present and hold onto only those items that are valuable to you and knowingly valuable to specific people in your life.
The team at Organized by Keli & Co can help you navigate your prized possessions. Contact us today and set up your no-obligation consultation.