You have probably heard the question, “What things would you take from your house if it was burning down?” What would you race up to the attic to save?
As I was cleaning out my attic the other day, I came across old birthday cards, love letters, my high school cheerleading jacket, an outfit from my honeymoon and a collection of record albums (and no turntable on which to play them!) These emotional objects instantly stirred up memories from years ago that came back instantly once I touched them. So many items were saved for sentimental reasons. It was truly a living archive of memories collected throughout the years.
Consider this: would you still be able to recall all of the memories if those treasured objects were destroyed?
In today’s world, some memorable items aren’t always tangible. Our photos are stored in a cloud or on a flash drive. Treasured books are found on e-readers and access to online resources are making our record albums and dvd’s obsolete.
As much as technology has made our lives more free of our “stuff” and makes storing things more convenient and easily accessible, none of it can replace touch. There is a sweet nostalgic feeling you get when you hold something in your hand that you held decades ago. It’s priceless. Imagine seeing the corsage from prom that you tucked away or reading the lyrics of a favorite song from a well-worn album cover. Chances are you are instantly transported in time.
Deciding what to keep and what to throw away or donate can be tough.
What will you keep and how will you know when the physical thing is no longer needed to retain the memories?
Here are some things to consider when sorting through your personal memorabilia.
Does holding that object give you that same surge of emotion that you had when you first got it? Or, are you keeping something just because you’ve kept it this long?
Are there other ways to store, keep or display these items that would be more meaningful than sitting in a box in storage? For example, you could hang some of your favorite record albums on the wall as an artful conversation starter.
To safe space, consider taking photos of certain items and storing them on your computer or in a photo album.
What physical things do you want to leave behind for others so they have a strong sense of who you are and what you loved?
Are there any things that would be a burden for others to sort through that only have meaning to you?
Keeping things for sentimental reasons is perfectly fine and completely normal. However, as you are sorting through your memorabilia, you can still achieve peace of mind knowing that even though the physical things are gone, the enduring memories will always safely stay in your mind.
What we keep through the years tells our story. What do the objects you keep say about you?
Finally, what do you have that you just can’t throw away?