Every client I have worked with in the past 15 years has eventually dealt with personal treasures. If we’re working together for the long haul, I suggest waiting to deal with mementos (including photos) as the last item on the organizing list. It’s WAY easier to handle items like books, clothes, and kitchen items. These items usually do not hold the big emotional charge of keepsakes. Most everyone feels burdened by this category, having NO IDEA how to winnow through and keep only the most precious of things.
This is the place where emotions show-up...big time!
- Guilt-- “I SHOULD keep this silver platter, it was Granny’s.” Feeling guilty is a big energy zapper, You are not a warehouse of all things passed on from other generations! Your life consists of this moment and the next and all of the moments in your future. How many of them do you want to spend feeling guilty? What would Granny want? For you to be joyfully living, feeling free and happy or wracked with guilt because you aren’t using her platter, (actually hate it) and fret about parting with it?
- Confusion-- “This table is all that’s left of Uncle Ralph.” Feeling confused is also common. Take in this one statement: The Thing is NOT the Person. The table is not Uncle Ralph and you do NOT have to lug it through life to make him happy. I’m sure if you asked him (alive or not) if he would rather you be healthy than have the table. He would vote for your health...OF COURSE!
Emotions show up with DRAMA and FLAIR! They can shut us down quickly if we are not deeply grounded in the awareness and knowing of our own dazzling hearts. Here are a few tips to help you get your feet on the ground and find balance and peace when choosing your memento collection:
- Envision Your Future--How do you want to feel? Take a deep breath, close your eyes and take a couple of minutes to picture your best, brilliant self...tomorrow, next month, in 5 years. How are you feeling? Light on your feet? Full of joy? Happy and adventurous? Match that beautiful vision with your mountain of mementos. How many boxes are there? 50? 20? 5? What amount of “treasure” feels like the best match to this vision of yourself? Breathe and wait; the answer will come. Holding this vision is a killer tool for making tough decisions in the memento department.
- Digitize--Are the scrapbooks falling apart? Are the photos loose and dumped in a cardboard box? Are the old papers crumbling? There are many companies that beautifully digitize your memories: photos, scrapbooks, home movies (in all of their ‘ancient’ forms). One of my favorite companies is Pixologie, they handle your memories with love and care and return them to you preserved and fresh in a modern format. Other companies, like Mixbook are FUN for digital scrapbooking. If you’re a scrapbooker...check Mixbook out, complete with digital stickers, banners and fun frames. When you’re finished, you can have a book published into a gorgeous keepsake.
- Set a Limiter--Pick the container, make it special...better than a cardboard box, these are your treasures after all! Use this as your “limit” for how much and what you are keeping. Keep anything you want--as long as it fits in the box. The container is your guide, if it doesn’t fit, you’ve got some decisions to make! Feel good about what you keep: It should all feel wonderful, like a true treasure chest of gold, nothing about it dragging your energy down.
The past is gone and things from the past, if unbalanced, can keep us feeling stuck. Instead of treasure, they begin to feel like an anchor weighing us down. Take a stand for your healthy future and keep the things that lift you up and make you sparkle. Lovingly pass along, bless and release the others, it’s back to the earth or out to the universe for someone else to love!
Big Sparkly Love,
PHOTO CREDIT: 123rf Elena Elisseeva