But it was Grandma’s! Letting go of Clutter Without Hurting Grandma’s Feelings

Feb 21

But it was Grandma’s! Letting go of Clutter Without Hurting Grandma’s Feelings

Christina Routon is a writer passionate about sharing her ideas, goals and dreams with others. She can be reached at christina-at-creativelifeenterprises.com

When we moved from Colorado back to Georgia in 1995 we bought Scott’s grandmother’s house. Along with the house, we ended up with several items, both valuable and not so valuable. Well, valuable depending on how you looked at things. Photos of Scott’s father and uncle – both who have passed away – were valuable to our family. A crocheted baby cap that belonged to Scott’s grandmother was another valuable family item. We’ll keep things like this and display them in places of honor one day after our traveling is done.

But what about items not so valuable, like out of date clothing, bulky furniture or appliances that no longer work. What should you do in order to keep things like this from migrating to your home?

First of all, realize that you don’t have to be the family collector. I loved having the photographs of Scott’s family and it helped me a lot with genealogy research. However, we don’t need photographs of aunts, uncles and cousins that no one knows. So what to do?

IDEA – at the next family reunion, bring the photos and let the relatives of the aunts, uncles and cousins have the photos of their immediate family.

I don’t know what it is about families – it seems to be universal – but when it comes to getting rid of family furniture there seems to be a heavy feeling of guilt over the items. Keeping grandma’s antique iron bed is one thing – if you have a guest room and will actually use it – but keeping or trying to give away a couch that guests sink into and hasn’t been recovered since the 1950’s may be overkill.

IDEA – The next time you’re offered a piece of family history, say no. I give you permission. I’ll even give you three reasons if you must have one. 1. Our house is too small. 2. We’re downsizing and getting ready for a move. 3. We already have a newer “whatever” and just don’t need another one.

By saying “no” a lot more often and letting go of our own stuff, it’s helped us realize what is the most important to use, what items have the most meaning. These are the items we want to keep, the ones that have a special memory for us. Like this goddess rain lamp. My great-grandmother had one and I enjoyed watching the oil flow down the strings.

It’s important to live within our means and within our space. Make the room for what is important to you and let the rest go.



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