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Sep
01

Ott “GO” Tip – To Keep or Not To Keep?

By · 9/1/2011

Ott Go Tip

Memorabilia and Family Treasures
To Keep or Not to Keep?  That is the Question!

If you have LOTS of mementos and family keepsakes and are running out of storage space or simply don’t know what to do with it, you need some criteria to decide what you should keep and what you shouldn’t.

1. If it is important family history such has letters, genealogy, photos, birth and death certificates, military records, etc. those are items to hold onto.  These items tell your family story.  But, they need to be stored with care.

  • Anything paper should be kept neatly stored in archival quality boxes.  You can get these at Storables or the Container Store.  They must be acid and lignin free.
  • Wrap like items with string or raffia and put a tag on them to indicate what they are, before placing them in the box.  Labeling is important!  Once the generation is gone who was able to identify items, the information could be lost forever.
  • ALWAYS keep these items in a place in your home that is free of moisture and is kept at a consistent temperature.  Don’t store them in the garage, or attic – too hot and damp.If they are truly family treasures that you want passed down to the next generations, then they must be treasured!!

2.  You are not required to keep things you inherit or get as gifts.  Just because you love the person who gave you the item(s) doesn’t mean you have to love the item(s).

  • If it is not your style and you know you will never use it, give it to another family member or a friend, sell it, consign it at an antique mall, or donate it.
  • When my grandma died, I kept just the things I loved or were useful.  It is OKAY to let go of items when people pass away.  They loved us and wouldn’t want their items clogging up our lives and causing us unnecessary guilt and stress.  So use it, display it, honor it, or give it away before it gets ruined.  Just DON’T store it forever.

3.  Our children make a lot of cool artwork, bring home truck loads of school papers and create beautiful cards, pictures and notes for us.  Every last piece can be precious; however we do not have room to keep it all.

  • Again, keep the historical items; stories or journals they wrote about what was happening in their life, photos, drawings of them or family, hand prints or items that chronicled their age.
  • Let go of math papers and other assignments, cards with no real messages inside, basic artwork (the kind you can’t even remember which child made).
  • Take photos of items and put them in a scrapbook and get rid of the actual piece, especially the big ones.  If you love it, frame it and hang it.  Put the clay art in the garden or use it for something practical.

 

Take Action!

If you have something you can’t decide what to do with, contact me and let me help you brainstorm.  Sometimes you just need to talk it through before giving yourself permission to let go.

 

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