Re-purpose or Re-possess?

When to Give Something Away…

We millennials, are in a unique position at the moment as we watch our baby boomer parents and their parents downsize at the same time.  Our 60 year old parents are trying to ‘live small’ as they age, while their parents, in their 90’s, are looking toward an elder living community.  What does that mean for us?  All those memories, and family heirlooms are coming our way, whether we like it or not.  Have you noticed the rise in “Move Manager” businesses?  I sure have.  Why do they exist? Because no one wants all that stuff!  There is a fine line between not wanting all of it and keeping a few key pieces that are meaningful to the family.

When my husband’s grandmother passed away and he asked me if there was anything that I wanted, and I mentioned one particular photograph that, in my mind, represented her.  We lovingly hang it in our guest bedroom as a reminder of her. Of course we will never give it away, all the other knick-knacks, office supplies, and plants that we took out of that apartment are now in the care of other family members.  We don’t need all the family memorabilia in the world but one meaningful piece can remind you of that person for your life.  My trick is asking yourself these three questions: think of the family member when they were happiest…and you have the fondest memories…

  • Where do you see that person?
  • What are they doing?
  • Then choose something that reminds you of that moment.

For my grandmother, who I was very close to, there were a few things I really wanted when she passed away.  She was in the catering business and loved to share food with her family.  So I choose her silver serve ware, and her vintage stand mixer.  Both remind me of all the joy we shared in the kitchen and around the table.  What I didn’t choose where her massive oak dressers… I have my own and they aren’t really my style.  I also didn’t choose any of her furniture, because again I’m not a “Mid-Mod” kinda girl. If it doesn’t remind you of a special time, place or person, get rid of it!