In the first part of our series on Downsizing Your Home, we covered the basics of getting started. But once you’ve gone through the easy stuff, how do you deal with those sentimental objects and family heirlooms? Pictures your kids drew in first grade, that gift your spouse gave you on your first anniversary, items passed down to you from relatives and friends that have passed on.
Here are some tips and advice to make downsizing less stressful:
Part 2: Sentimental or family heirlooms
- Be creative.
There are a number of services that will digitize photos and papers at a reasonable cost. Photos, memorabilia, and collections typically take up far so much space. Personally I digitized all and new family photos and put them online for everyone in the family to enjoy. I also created albums on Shutterfly for older family pictures of our ancestors so my siblings and the rest of the family could get a copy too. Now everything is organized in one place and my storage space is de-cluttered.
- Collections Ask, “Which is your favorite piece?”
Typically there is only room for one or two pieces. Focus on what you enjoy and what to keep and less on getting rid of what you don’t want, if you select only what you like it what to discard or donate will be apparent. Make sure you truly enjoy the piece rather than keeping it out of obligation because your sister in law gave it to you as a wedding present 40 years ago but you never liked it.Stay away from cluttering your table tops with displays or collections. Try to select favorite pieces that truly make you happy and you enjoy looking at.
- Create a book of photos of your collections or frame pictures of it.
It’s not the same as owning but a way for a collector to continue enjoying. For example when I run into adult children’s trophy collections in their parent’s basement I recommend taking a picture of the trophies then take off the plaque and frame the picture and the plaques and give to your children. It’s a space saving way of keeping the memory and having it for their children to see.
- Encourage giving it now.
Enjoy giving items now when downsizing. Don’t wait for the next occasion. If you are going to pass on treasures to your family do it now so you can de-clutter and feel good about your space and having your family enjoy it.
Check back next week for our final part in our series of Downsizing Your Home: What to Discard.