Downsizing: The Art of Passing Down Treasured and Sentimental Items

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My colleague, April West, at Two Men and A Truck, asked me to write a post for their blog and share my thoughts on how to let go of items that carry much sentimental value.  And here’s what came to mind…

Letting Go and Giving

There comes a time in our lives when we must move into smaller quarters. Kids are grown, or perhaps home maintenance has become too costly, or maybe we want a the luxury of onsite help and the social activities that retirement communities can provide.

Deciding what to do with the stuff that just won’t fit into our new home can be a challenging task. Parting with treasured items that carry real sentimental value is plain difficult whether it’s Grandma’s Christmas ornaments, a father’s paintings, drawings from the kids over the years, photographs and memorabilia from life’s special events, antiques that have been passed down through several generations, treasures collected from travels and so much more.

It is comforting to give these special items to younger family members, however, once-valuable items may have gone out of fashion and may be politely declined due to lack of space or need.

hope-chestSomething to remember is that there is somebody in our community who might be delighted to receive your treasures and love them as you have. It is rewarding to make donations to historical societies, charity thrift stores or local collection drives. I have learned that Senior Centers appreciate books for their libraries, art for their walls, and school music departments have a real need for musical instruments.

One thing that eases the pain of letting go of your treasures is to photograph each item and create a photo album to remember them by. With a plan, and friend to help you along the way, letting go of possessions can actually reduce stress and lift your spirits. You can make a difference in another person’s life with your wonderful donation.

The experience is actually bittersweet.

Here’s a link to the original post on the The Two Men and A Truck blog.

By the way, April coordinates a fabulous program called Movers for Moms that collects donations the entire month of April and then donates them to WEAVE just before Mother’s Day, it’s actually a wonderful community program they do annually. Last year they donated 12,000 items and this year they hope to donate 13,000 items!

Here’s a link for more information on Movers for Moms.