Holding On To Our Memories

by Natalie Conrad | 3 Comments
Holding On To Our Memories
Memorabilia – not so easy to spell and not so easy to let go…
Why do we hold onto so much memorabilia?  We hold onto our memorabilia because it’s a tangible item attached to a memory that we have. Or we think that it is useful or important enough to save for future generations. Or we hold onto our memorabilia because we choose not to make decisions about it. Or….
Packing boxes

Out of sight, out of mind

In my own mind, there are 3 categories of memorabilia.
  1. Sentimental – things that hold a fond memory, something that tugs are our heart strings
  2. Historical – things related to past important events or family genealogy
  3. “Just Because” – things we feel guilty about releasing or that we really don’t know why we are keeping
 Here are a list of questions for each category of memorabilia that may help you release some of those items. Now hear me out; I am not saying you should get rid of everything, just that perhaps we can all be more selective about what we keep.  These questions are intended to help you be realistic about the decisions you make with regard to your memorabilia.
Sentimental
  •  Is this sentimental to me?
  • What memory is this object holding for me?
  • Is it a good memory?
  • Do I have other things that remind me of the same memory?
  • Is there another way to hold onto the memory while letting go of the object?
 Historical
  •  Is this item historical?
  • Is it a true family heirloom?
  • Is it relevant to my family’s history?
  • Should it be documented?
  • Does it need archival storage?
  • If I were not here, would other family members know the historical significance?
  • Do they even want it?
  • Can I give it to them now? If not, then when?
 “Just Because”
  • In the big scheme of life, is this item really important?
  • Is it valuable?
  • Can it be sold?
  • Can I donate it to a charity for a silent auction?
  • Would keeping a smaller piece of this be acceptable?
  • Does it even still work?
  • Will I ever use it, repair it, scrapbook it?


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  1. [...] to reduce the amount of memorabilia that I saved.  That was one of the reasons I put together the questions for memorabilia.  My husband and I have been married for 14 years and in that time we have moved 4 times.  Now I [...]

  2. [...] …I just did it….  Whenever I picked up an item I thought about how useful it was, how it made me feel and thought about how often I used it. There are some things, like my cake plate that I don’t use too often but I love it and do use it as much as possible (and not always for cakes). There are certain questions you can as yourself that can help you make decisions about whether or not to purge something. You can read them in this blog post. [...]

  3. [...] to read more helpful tips on organizing memorabilia? Check out my blog post called Holding On to Our Memories or Organizing [...]