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sentimental Garbage

December 7th, 2019 at 06:45 pm

Perhaps a strange title but i was looking around my house and noticed. there are some items that need to go.

Example my son a couple of years ago managed a store at a mall and then he bought me (well meaning) a ton of scented lotions from one of those shops like Bodyworks, you know then buy three get 3 great idea if you have 6 people.. but nope mom got all 6 used some tried different scents but honestly i could grease up an elephant with this volume. I have it in a line on counter try to use as I can but in all honesty the only reason I am keeping is sentimental not functional. i have hovered over the bin but put them back on counter telling myself to use more.

I have many items like this. When my mom passed I took items from her home as memories but also because i knew she loved them . Items costume jewelry i may never wear, candles i have in boxes perhaps in a major power outage i could burn them .... pictures I have never hung .... they do bring memories but as i get older I realize they mean nothing to my own adult kids i tell them stories they nod politely but a 3rd generation candy dish is not going to be a treasure for them.
Some items may mean something to siblings but i do not talk to them at all i am thinking in some cases i took items more so they would not take and sell them at the urging of relatives ( couple siblings have issues with substance abuse) but i did not need or want some items. I am not even sure how i could return these item to them have not spoken in years. i see now sooner or later memories disappear and who know maybe these item will be a garage sale after I am gone.
what is the best way to let go.....

10 Responses to “sentimental Garbage”

  1. Carol Says:

    I read this, tried it and it worked for me: take a picture of the item and then give it away ( or trash it.) Taking the picture seemed to make it easier to let things go.

  2. Bluebird Says:

    How old are your children and do they have kids yet? Maybe once they get a bit older they'll understand the value and appreciate the irreplaceable candy dish. When I grew up, we lost our house to foreclosure and had basically nothing, so those few items and items from my DH's parents, which are many, I cherish and will not dispose of. I would rather have old stuff/antiques than anything new. My kids think the same and they're 14 and 12.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    For stuff like the lotion, I would give it away to friends or family. Another idea would be to gather up items and gift them to a charity for Christmas gifts to the needy.

  4. crazyliblady Says:

    I hate that so much of our lives is wrapped up in stuff. I like Carol's approach for retaining the memory of antiques or other items you don't REALLY want to keep for yourself. You could give it away or sell it. If you sell it, you could keep the money or donate it to charity.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    The meaning is not in the items themselves, they are simply reminders of memories of people we knew and love, or experiences we had. I think I'd start with the lotions. Pick the one scent you like and will use. I sort think that your son probably bought those as his gift to you simply because he was working there and it was a good deal, easy to pick up and something most use and like. I really think it's okay to let go of ANY gift, because once it is given it is yours to decide and determine what place it has in your life or home. If the giver of a gift, seems to want to control how you use the gift, that you keep the gift, display the gift, than I ask was it really a gift. Most gifts are given freely and without strings attached, we as the receiver are the ones that put guilt, if any, on the expectation of the gift.

    I will say the items you mention all seem to be those with emotions attached. These are the hardest to make decisions on. Do you have other items in your home that need to go? Have you already processed the less sentimental items? Decluttering those things that we are less attached to are the experience we need to deal with the harder items.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    I would keep the lotions and use them. I also have a lot on hand, because a lot of people think it is a good gift for a woman of a certain age. And they're right. I have all but one stored in a cabinet, and I will use them up eventually. If you have so many that you think you will never use them, donate any that are not opened to a nursing or retirement home. Don't throw them away! There are many people who would love to have them.

  7. disneysteve Says:

    Over the past couple of years, we have gotten ourselves far less attached to things. It has really helped the decluttering efforts. We had (and still have) so much stuff that we held onto just because it had value or was a gift from someone special or because it was inherited from a loved one or was purchased on a vacation or whatever. We finally started to realize that the things themselves just weren't important to us. We never use them. In some cases, we didn't even necessarily like them. We just felt that we were supposed to keep them. Not any more. We've gotten rid of tons of stuff and it's made such a difference in our house, our basement, and our garage.

    I'd recommend reading Marie Kondo's book on tidying. After you do, also watch her Netflix series. She really focuses on how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, and then also how to store what you keep more efficiently.

  8. Smallsteps Says:

    Thank you Disneysteve that is where i am at.
    I like some of these( inherited) items but i will never use them and do not see a point to store them so one or more of my kids will feel obligated to keep thinking it is what i would want etc.
    i have a bunch of tee shirts from when my DH traveled a lot maybe i can make a quilt or something out of them as i hate wearing them people feel the need to comment like "oh i have been there".

  9. Fern Says:

    I have been dealing with this for the 4 years since my mother passed. It's especially hard because as an artist, she created many pieces of art, so to dispose of these would feel like blasphemy to me. I am happy to sell and display them, but sales can be very slow since I don't have a lot of time or interest in marketing them right now. I have also kept many of her little knickknacks that had been around since I was a child, more so, probably, since my sister wanted nothing. I kept things I had a practical use for, too. I would get rid of the lotions, but taking photos of things before you get rid of them would not be helpful for me, personally. It would just allow yourself to second-guess yourself every time you might look at those photos, stirring up possible regret you might otherwise never feel if you didn't have a picture reminding you of it.

    For me it's been a slow and very gradual process; I just recently earmarked 2 more clothing items I realize I will never fit into and that simply take up space in my closet. Things like the thousands of slides of art sold are another matter. She took so much time and effort to chronicle her work over the years, each one containing the title, size and medium on the slide, that it would seem a shame to toss it. I bought a gadget years ago that lets you convert slides to a digital format, but it's a totally manual process and I never got the hang of it. I need to try it again.

    Holding onto too much stuff can feel like a burden, but at the same time, I don't like to regret things hastily tosses. Just because your kids have no interest in stuff today doesn't mean they'll not change their mind in a number of years when they are more mature. Although I get it about the (crystal?) candy dishes. I got tons of that stuff from my grandmother, but that stuff had its day in the sun and no one seems to want that stuff anymore.

  10. disneysteve Says:

    Artwork is definitely a problem. My aunt was an artist and died a few years ago. After they settled everything, my cousins asked everyone in the family if they wanted any of her paintings. I took a couple that I liked. We haven't displayed them anywhere but I like having that little piece of her to remember.

    As for photos/videos/slides, there are companies like Legacybox that will convert them to digital for you. There is almost always a Groupon for them too.

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