Have you been caught up in the downsizing craze? Are you letting go of precious heirlooms for the sake of streamlining your life?
Before the age of “throw away,” people used and saved everyday items until they could be used no more. Today goods are produced and upgraded at such a terrifying rate that nothing that we have actually wears out. As a result we find ourselves compelled to purge cupboards, closets and attics of still usable items on a regular basis.
What happens to that old “stuff?” At one time most items were stored in the attic, recycled as hand-me-downs or made the rounds of various thrift shops. Today we are pressured to get rid of everything that we aren’t currently using. “Old stuff” is no long important to our lives.
One day it will be your turn to decide what to keep and what to throw away. What will happen to your mothers wedding dress, or that quilt so lovingly stitched by your great grandmother? At what point does a hand knitted sweater, a crocheted afghan, or a wall of high school trophies become less then memorable?
Whether “stuff” is relegated to the junk pile or turned into an heirloom is up to you. Have you ever thought about what future generations will inherit from you? “Stuff” doesn’t become an heirloom overnight, it actually has to have been around for several generations, and ideally it is something that will evoke loving memories. Typical examples might include one of a kind clothing, quilts, samplers, christening and baby items, military uniforms, dolls, ethnic rugs and wedding items.
Downsizing has its place; hoarding does not, but downsize selectively. Give a great deal of thought to what could very well become family heirlooms, and learn how to preserve them so that they will be around forever. Honor your ancestors and keep their stories alive.