Have you ever heard the old saying, “If you love someone, set them free”? Well, the same applies to stuff. I hear so many people talk about their cherished possessions that they can’t bare to part with. Granted, these items are in the garage or in storage under a pile of other stuff and a layer of dust, but it is “important.”
If it is truly valuable/important/sentimental, it should be in an important place, well cared for and utilized. Your grandmother’s hope chest is not being valued if it is under boxes, dust and possibly be chewed on by field mice in your garage. It should have an important place in your home. If you don’t have an important spot for it, then set it free. Ask other family members if they have an important spot for it. If no one has a good place for it and it is a historical piece, contact the local historical society to see if they are interested. It will be well cared for and preserved rather than become lunch for hungry termites. In other words, set it free.
Something else I hear often is that people are saving these invaluable pieces for their kids. I want you to take a moment here to think about whether this is a loving gesture or a future burden for your children. What are the odds that your child will someday have room for or even want Grandpa’s fishing pole collection? And will your child someday take that collection because they want it or because they feel obligated? After all, you have been saving it for them for all these years. Are you giving your child a gift or placing burden on them?
If your children are adults, please talk to them. Ask them what they want with an open mind. You might be surprised at what they think is valuable or worth keeping. And remember that if they don’t want it, that isn’t wrong. It just means that they don’t see the same value in it that you do.
Don’t get me wrong – some things are worth saving and passing on. But think long and hard about what you save. Especially if that which you are saving for *someday* is getting in the way of enjoying today.
Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her blog at http://cleartheclutterprofessionalorganizing.blogspot.com/