Is it Trash or Treasure?

Happy Friday, y’all and welcome to the last weekend in February! Can you believe the 2nd month of 2013 is already coming to a close? Yes, time does indeed fly when you are having fun.


So I read an interesting article this week on Houzz which has sparked quite the buzz among readers regarding clearing treasures and memorabilia from homes. There seems to be dissension among the ranks as to what is trash and what is treasure. Should it stay or should it go? Several people commented that they were so glad they had held on to letters and other memorable treasures from their family and there were an equal number who said there was no need to burden your home with things from your (family’s) past.

Personally, I think having a box letters from ancestors is a wonderful peek into history and should be treasured. However, crates of letters, boxes of china, 42 bud vases, random books about topics that don’t interest you, and anything else in excess is just too much to hang on to. I have saved every card and letter from my husband because he writes so well and puts a lot of thought into his writing. These are all in a pretty, lidded box that is on the shelf in my closet that I can see every day. I have saved the last birthday card I got from my Grandmother in 2007 because I knew her vision was failing and she wouldn’t be writing much more.

However, I have tossed at least a dozen of her belts and purses that she sent to me because they weren’t my taste, didn’t fit my style, and, most importantly, they didn’t hold any special meaning for me. THAT is the key to making decisions on what to keep: does that object hold a special memory for you? I did keep a purse of hers from that assortment that I borrowed from her during our trip to Europe when I was 13. That purse has special meaning to me and reminds me of a fun trip with her even though I don’t use it very often. I use it occasionally but mainly I just pull it out every once in a while and recall that special time with her. If it were stuffed in a box with thousands of other things I wouldn’t be able to see it and enjoy it anymore.

The decision to keep or toss is a personal one and should not be influenced by others. Sometimes letting go needs to happen in stages and sometimes you truly can’t bear to part with the objects. Just remember you can’t keep everything and the memory lives forever in your mind.

Have ever thrown something away, in the process of clearing clutter, and wished that you hadn’t? Have you found a special way to preserve keepsakes to honor the memories? I’d love to hear your stories in the Comments area.

Happy organizing!

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