Helping clients to let go of family heirlooms is always a huge challenge. They are overwhelmed with the emotional guilt of letting go or giving away something that was once special to a loved one. It may be helpful, depending on what the object is, to have it appraised. A lot of the time, this helps ease the burden of letting it go.
There are many ways to simplify the sentimental stuff. Each concept includes focusing on what is most important and honouring its history:
Photographs are a nice way to preserve the memory
-If it is something you can use (be honest), and have a spot for it, than by all means keep it and enjoy it,
-If the item is tucked away in a box in your basement, it is not serving a purpose (other than collecting dust),
-Consider giving the item away to a family member or a friend that could use it.
Remember you are not attached to the item, it’s the memory associated with it. If a loved one does not want the item, accept it and let go of it. Once you remove the emotional tie to something you will be able to let it go. It helps to know that many charities are only too happy to receive donation goods that will go on to benefit others.
I have a client who for years had stored three bags full of her mother’s purses, in green garbage bags. When I asked her to work on this, at a recent visit, I could see her start to panic. I had her sit down and went through the items with her. She reviewed the purses one by one and placed them in the donation bag. When she was finished she was so pleased with herself, and could not believe we got through all three bags (and found nearly $1000 in the process). This is an example that many possessions are just stuff!
Remember you do not have to do it all at once. Small steps are often key to success. Take it slow and honour the memories, keep only what you will use and let the rest go.
As always, we at Butler Girl, are here to help in any way we can.