Let go of the rest- but keep the memories (part 2)

As we work our way through the acrostic of SIMPLIFY, we last looked at “L” for “Let go of the rest”. This month we look at another aspect of letting go which is keeping the memories or sentiments attached while letting go of the physical item.

Some possessions are easy to let go of while others are more difficult to part with because of the memories attached or their emotional value. These treasured items may be set out on display or hidden away in boxes, but are being saved to make sure we have a way to remember a special event, a loved one, someone’s thoughtfulness, or family history.

When you are downsizing and come across a treasured item, ask yourself:

Why are you saving this? Is it the actual item you really love or is it the fact that it reminds of you of someone or something? Once you realize the why, you can ask yourself about the how. How can the associated memory of this item be saved in another way?

There are a variety of ways to preserve memories or sentiments without keeping the item itself.

  • Keep just one of a set to represent the rest. Perhaps you could keep one special cup and saucer to represent the amazing collection you had or just one small token from a trip to help you recall the whole adventure.
  • Use photos to preserve the images. With technology these days you can photograph your special items and then display in a variety of ways. You can load them into a digital photo frame to cycle the photos over time or create a beautiful bound coffee table book.
  • Create a display from a segment. Design a framed shadow box or make a quilt with portion of a specific item. This is a great way to save a letter from a letterman jacket, a piece of lace from your bridal gown, a letter from your grandmother, the imprints on your t-shirts, special tea towels or other memory laden items.

You don’t have to do these projects yourself. There are many resources that can create them for you. Your family might be able to assist; even your grandchildren who are able to use technology might enjoy helping this way. Companies like Walgreens, Target or Costco as well as mail order online places like Shutterfly or Snapfish create amazing books from your photos. Timeless Thread design, Custom Memory quilts or your local seamstress can take your treasures and save them in a beautiful quilt.

As you work through your possessions and find those treasured or sentimental items, be creative in thinking of a way to save the memory and let go of the item.

© 2018 Beth Giles

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