Very nicely said. I have a few things from my grandmothers that have meaning for me, but will not for my children who were born after my grandmothers died. And that is OK.pennywise wrote: ↑Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:58 amWe have had to completely clear 2 homes in the past 5 years; that of a friend who died and left us his estate and my mother in law's after she went into assisted living. Both homes were jam packed with stuff--the friend was a borderline hoarder, the MIL a depression baby with hoarding instincts she 'disguised' as being a keeper of memories.
I learned something from the extremely laborious effort it took: your belongings have meaning to you, and nobody should expect or demand that anyone else take on your memories and meanings by keeping your stuff. I have objects that are deeply meaningful to me. But I know after I'm gone my kids will have absolutely no reason to keep that knit dress my mother sewed for me in the 70's. I keep it because she made all my clothes and it was the last dress she sewed for me before she died when I was 19 YO. Seeing it in the back of my closet brings me comfort-and will not do that for anyone else in the world. That's ok, once I'm gone I won't be seeing it anyway and nobody else will connect to it at all.
We all have the right to decide what talismans we imbue with meaning. None of us have the right to expect anyone else to carry on our meaning by keeping our talismans.
Last but far from least, I"ll never forget the note we found in my MIL's jam packed china cabinet (she put notes everywhere): 'I ask only one thing. Keep everything'. We did not, could not and should not have been expected to!
There was a show on HGTV several years ago that helped people clear out their stuff and hold yard sales. The host was a British man. One thing that stuck with me from that show: he would find a decrepit cardboard box under three other boxes in the basement. The decrepit box would hold, for example, Christmas knickknacks that were used to decorate the owner's childhood home. And the owner would insist they were too important to sell because of their sentimental nature. To which the host's response would be "If they are so important to you, why are they buried in an old cardboard box in your basement?"
The point being that 1) you haven't used them in years; they can't be that important and/or 2) if they really are important, then why aren't you taking better care of them?
I was never much of a packrat, but I did decide that I would either use things of value to me or at least store them properly if I wasn't going to use them.