Have you ever wondered what treasured possessions you would gather up if you suddenly were in an emergency situation? On a less drastic note, what if you simply moved to a smaller house? Or what about the likely possibility of someday living in a one bedroom apartment?
We like to surround ourselves with physical reminders of past experiences. Sometimes those things are truly beautiful and lovely. They make you smile. It delights your heart to share those memories with others. But, it is oh-so-easy to keep too much and to keep it all out on display. Then it gets dusty and in the way, or it blends into the random assortment of other mementos and doesn’t end up being special at all. You just keep adding more to the shelf because you feel guilty about throwing away or putting away a memory.
Allow me to offer a fresh perspective!
The best memories live forever in your heart.
– Olive Wagar
When you try to keep it all, you diminish the value of every single item. How much better it is to choose the very best—the ones that truly touch your heart without any guilt or pressure. You are keeping a few special things because they capture the essence of an experience or relationship. You keep them because they are meaningful to you.
It really doesn’t work when you say to another family member, “You need to keep this vase because it belonged to Aunt Martha.” Those are the kind of things professional organizers find in old cardboard boxes in the dark corners of a garage or basement. You can’t force something to be meaningful. Either it is or it isn’t.
How much better it is when a family member says, “I love thinking of special times with Grandma when I see this pitcher. Would it be ok if I take it home with me?” That will be a treasure not a burden.
During a particularly intense storm a few months ago, I gathered up my pillows, blankets, phone and charger and retreated to a safe room of my home. Then I quickly gathered up 2 framed photos, my box of travel patches, and a box of sentimental cards. It all fit nicely into one bag. I was glad that I knew exactly what I wanted to keep and that I knew exactly where to find them.
When you take a fresh look at things around your house, you might be surprised to realize that many of the things are very common. They hold no special meaning. They are just there, taking up space. If they were destroyed or ruined, you would not even bother to replace them. By carefully selecting what you really want to keep because it is particularly meaningful to you, you make it so much easier to box up and donate all of the other excess.
Regarding that box of travel patches—it is my absolute favorite collection of memories with my children. As I hold each patch, I can relive those happy experiences. Sometimes I can even remember what clothes we were wearing or what the weather was like on that day! They fit very nicely into a decorated box that I keep handy on my bookshelf. Those patches delight my heart. They are true treasures.
Please don’t attempt to keep everything from past experiences! You will eventually resent having so much. They will become a burden not a blessing. Trust yourself to keep what truly matters.
Know that your heart has a greater
capacity than your house!
– Olive Wagar
It is OK to ask for help when you are sorting through your sentimental possessions. Organized by Olive welcomes the opportunity to work beside you, to support you, and to guide you as you discover the less cluttered side of life. It is worth the effort when you have less mess and more space, less chaos and more calm. You will discover peace of mind. And the best part is that you will have room in your life for new adventures and new memories!
What is your favorite treasure?