I subscribe to a great e-mail group, through www.flylady.net. In this morning’s e-mail, a lady told how she was trying to declutter, but her mother had kept everything and anything and those things were hard to part with. So she took pictures of these inherited items, found some old pictures of her mom using them, and made scrapbook pages. She made another book on her childhood. She kept a few really important things, but was able to throw out so much. She said, “Instead of 100-plus boxes for our child to go through one day, she will have four scrapbooks that she can go through anytime she wants to.”
As a history buff and genealogist, sometimes I’m tempted to keep every little checkbook - to show what a house payment cost 30 years ago, for example. But there’s only so much space. My house is, after all, a house, not a museum. When my sister and I cleaned out my mom’s house, we gave away most of the large items, which could be enjoyed by other family members. We kept things like pictures and Daddy’s negatives, which I still have to go through (he was a photographer). I also have a few heirlooms that I want to keep, but need to find better places to store them where they won’t collect dust or get ruined. I like the scrapbook idea. I’ve already taken pictures of some of my childhood art, so I could then throw it away.
Marla (aka the FlyLady) says to keep things that make you smile, and to toss the things that make you feel guilty or sad or “you might need it/fix it someday.” I love pictures - they usually make me smile.