02 March 2010

Time in a bottle

"Pamwriter" left this as a comment at the end of a nice essay on downsizing from the Tucson Citizen. It's definitely even more of a challenge to get rid of stuff when the "stuff" has sentimental attachment.

So this is really for the several friends who have lost loved ones recently and will be faced with sorting their possessions into "what to keep, what to throw, and what to give away."

A friend of mine recently said ‘You CAN keep time in a bottle’. She has decided that a small collection of bottles as keep-sakes is better than the tons of keep-sakes themselves. ‘After all,’ she said, ‘we’re keeping the memories.’ So what she’s doing is to write small notes and put them in the bottles that she has categorically labeled – maybe one is ‘mom’ and one is ‘dad’ and one is ‘first husband’ etc. I’m thinking about this as I sift through ‘my stuff’. I also have started to watch the ‘Hoarders’ – I watch then I get up and clean a closet. I’m in touch with the emotional attachment to the stuff and letting go. I’d put the cookie maker* (I had one too) into the pile to go to the hospital shop and let those folks decide which of their piles to put it in.

*The item that essay author Lydia Brewer used as her jumping-off to muse about de-accessioning.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Dad started giving stuff away (heck, just about *ordering* us to take stuff) the day after Mom died. I'm lucky, in that it's easy to say no because it's too expensive to ship large, heavy stuff to me.

This has us thinking, though, about how much stuff is in our house that someone will someday have to go through. Even if we don't actually go through all the ancient papers and such, we realize we do need to decide who gets what, if only so our executors don't curse us for leaving them such an unholy mess to deal with.

That give-away pile's gonna get a bit larger over the coming weeks...