Love and Memories

by Tina ~ February 13th, 2014.

keepsakes and memoriesMany decisions around organizing and decluttering are based on what is practical and logical. Asking yourself questions like Do I need this? Do I use it? Does it still work? Do I have room for it? will help you determine whether or not to keep something and where to store it.

Organizing memorabilia is a whole different situation. Rather than basing your decisions on practical solutions, you’re more focused on the feelings associated with the items. Mementos may include letters, photos depicting holidays, birthdays, vacations, and family members going through everyday activities at various stages of their lives.  It might also include school papers, including writing samples, report cards, certificates, and so on.

One of my most cherished possessions is the finely curated collection of letters, notes, programs, and tickets that my Mom left for me and each of my siblings. It certainly wasn’t everything I ever drew, wrote or went to – but she picked out the treasures.  I don’t remember what isn’t there – but memories do rush back from the pieces she chose to keep.

A prime example is a note I wrote her when I was a teenager.  We must have had a fight – I went out, and she was asleep when I got back, so I wrote her an “I’m sorry” note on the napkins we always had on our kitchen table.  It wasn’t a big deal at the time, but 40 years later, it reminds me of the close and intimate relationship I had with her, even when I was a trouble-making teenager.

All of these items that my Mom had for us were kept in a “Naches” (Yiddish for “pride” or “joy”) file of the things that she was proud of us for.  I now keep one for my daughter. Well, my Mother L.O.V.E.D. Barbra Streisand.  I mean LOVED her!  So, there, amongst the files for me and my sister and brother, was one for Barbra.  Like she was part of the family!

I still have that file.  Why do I keep it?  Well.  Just, ‘cause.

I tell my clients about this collection of treasures that my Mom left us to illustrate that you don’t need to keep it all.  In fact, you shouldn’t – all you’re doing is handing down a potential burden to your loved ones.  Instead, pick out the treasures, and be able to leave a real gift.

But that’s enough about me… Check back next time when I share with you a few tips to help you organize your own memorabilia.


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1 Response to Love and Memories

  1. Janet Barclay

    I have a whole Banker’s Box filled with paper memorabilia: concert tickets and programs, letters, greeting cards, etc. I stopped adding to it quite a few years ago because it’s just too much stuff. I always say that when I die, they’ll be able to dump it all in the blue box. Your post has inspired me to give this some more thought… select a few items and explain to my kids why they’re special to me. They may still just toss them, but at least they might be willing to take a moment and remember the stories I told them.

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