All of those collectables that your mother passed down to you, the awards you and your children earned over the years, and special homemade crafts gifted to you during the holidays are just a few categories of items that one needs to choose whether to keep, pass on to the next generation, sell, or give to a goodwill store. Tossing them in the trash is usually the last measure taken because of the hope that just someone out there may find value in what you consider a priceless treasure.
How to decide? This isn’t easy for anyone to do. Please allow yourself plenty of extra time to reminisce. One way to keep the memories, but not so many of the cherished pieces, is to take a picture of each of the items that have a lot of meaning to you and write the memory you recall about it in a journal. When you are finished, make copies of the journal and pass them on to close family members. This way you do not have to feel guilty about keeping everything that was given to you and the memory is still being kept and shared. Items that are considered treasured heirlooms need to be kept in a safe place or set aside for the one you have decided to pass the item along to.
Where to start? Over the years we can accumulate several little and large treasures that have a special place in our hearts. Start small by going to that curio or shelf where you are displaying your collectables. If you have in mind who you would like to pass them on to (that you know will continue to enjoy them), then get some stickers; write their names on them and place them on each of the items. Pack them safely in a box and label the box accordingly. If you feel the treasures are too priceless to reveal on the label, then make up a code word.
Example: you choose the word PURPLE. Everything marked PURPLE goes to your youngest daughter. Purple is her favorite color. Be sure to write down who the code words are for so that you do not forget when it comes time to pass them on.
For larger items, such as furniture, ask family and friends if they would enjoy having them. If not, then plan to donate the items to your local goodwill store or organization. Place these items together and schedule the time and place these are to be taken to or picked up so that those in your community can make use of them.
If you have items of monetary value, set aside to have them appraised. Decide if you would rather keep the item(s) in the family, sell, or donate to your favorite charity. This can get tricky when talking with family members because more than one may be interested in having a particular item. If this is the case, selling or donating the piece may be the only resolution to keeping the peace. Keeping a family together is much more valuable than any material item can give.