You Can't Take It With You

Jul 12, 2011

memoryboxdeWe all have amazing memories of trips, events, family and friends. Some of us have those memories forever in our minds, some have pictures to reminisce over and some collect momentos from the places they have traveled or the people they have known. Often those pictures and momentos are carefully placed in a box and stored for those occasions when we feel the need to be nostalgic or may have lost a loved one to whom those momentos are associatedwith.
Sadly, many times those boxes once carefully packed away will forever remain that way. Even sadder those who packed these momentos with such love and care will leave them behind for a family member, friend or worse a stranger to decide their ultimate fate.  If there is one thing that I can confidently tell you I have learned as an organizer and actively implemented into my life is the understanding of relevance and importance when it comes to my tangible memories.
The idea that my daughter will have to make any decisions on items that were memories long before she was even born wouldn’t have bothered me so much before. But now, the number of families that we have assisted in packing up the possessions of their loved ones or downsizing their own belongings has been very eye opening. The burden it places on each of us to sort these boxes years after they were packed is tremendous and often the boxes will just be moved from home to home, family member to family member without ever being opened solely on the fear of what emotions they will bring up.
There a few simple things you can do to minimize this situation. Create a schedule for yourself to periodically spend time with at least one box, this can be once a month or once a year. By continuing to re-evaluate the contents of each box at different moments throughout our lives what might have been valuable at one point may not seem so later. I will caution you to refrain from any re-evaluation when angry or upset for obvious reasons. Also, consider having your sentimental papers or photos digitized with at least two copies made of the digital version. This will have a tremendous impact on the space that is consumed and it can easily be passed on to future generations.

Most of all remember that you cant take it with you and those that love you should not have the burden of guilt when your memories don’t have the same meaning to them.