Monday, 25 February 2019 10:32

These are Mom’s memories, not mine!

These are Mom’s memories, not mine!

Recently my siblings and I moved my mom into a small room in a lovely retirement home.

We were lucky that my parents had several moves in recent years, and each time they downsized, ruthlessly letting go things they no longer needed, wanted or loved. So, this move was relatively easy, and there wasn’t a lot to go. Mom went through her printers’ trays of miniatures, selecting a few to keep on her bedside table. The rest, along with a few ornamentals, crockery and a couple of pictures were offered to the family.

I chose a small miniature chick I had always loved, one sister a miniature set of glass pigs with swiggly tails that made her smile. My youngest sister did not want anything, and her comment “These are mom’s memories not mine!” made me stop and think.

So often I hear clients say there are keeping things for their children and grandchildren. My question every time is “Have you asked them if they would like the items you are keeping?” So often it is the clients’ association and memories of the time that make the items precious to them. But all too often, the children are not connected in any way, and really don’t want things that don’t mean the same as they do for the parents.

Here are 6 things to consider when saving items for family members:

  1. Think practically about your loved ones' lifestyles. Will they want this? Do they have room for it? Is the item valuable only to me? The answers help with decisions to save or let go.
  2. Take time to think about and set aside a few special things that you think your children and family might like.
  3. Think small and portable. Its not necessary to pass on an entire collection. A single tea cup and saucer, a serving platter that bought joy growing up, a piece of special jewellery or a small yellow chick!
  4. Its important to go through your belongings periodically and reassess what to keep and what to give away.
  5. Consider downsizing regularly, even if you are not moving. Begin to think about what relatives would like, but be realistic.
  6. Make choices about your possessions that feel right to you, and remember that the value is not always in how much they are worth, but their connection.

And finally, don’t wait for later, start now and leave your family special connections, not a huge burden…

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