How Do I Deal: Nostalgia vs. Decluttering

I feel very blessed that I got to spend the week after Grandmommy's funeral in NC, helping my mom go through alllll the stuff in Grandmommy's house. It wasn't easy or fun, per se, but it was *good*. Since I'm the only family who isn't local, it meant a lot to me to feel truly involved. It was good to get to see so many old family pictures & cards (& smile rereading the ones *I* sent); outfits I remember her in; hats, gloves, & scarves I grew up playing dress-up with; her college memory book (she was her high school valedictorian & she went to college late 1920's, early 30's :-))

When it comes to waging my personal battle b/t nostalgia and decluttering, I find I can always donate & throw more away, if I'm winnowing down my piles with a loved one: if I have someone there who cares about me, and I can share the history, ("I wore this to... We used this for... This was special, b/c...") I can let more go. The bottom line for me is sharing life, not hanging on to "stuff". If my happy memories are acknowledged, I'm good moving on. :-) Being able to go through Grandmommy's house w/ Mom accomplished that for both of us: history sharing & acknowledgement of good memories made it easier to donate & throw away a TON. (And I do mean quite literally weight-wise at least a ton!)

Even though it doesn't quite seem 100% real (I'd honestly have no problem believing she was just still at assisted living; I felt the same way for *years* w/ my dad, b/c we weren't living in the same place when he passed, either) going through her house with my mom brought a lot of closure. Not that there aren't & won't still be sad moments, but I'm good moving forward...which is pretty big for this self-proclaimed-but-maybe-slowly-reforming? nostalgia queen! :-D

[PS - For the record, I am *not* available to handle any more "stuff" for the foreseeable future. :-P B/t two over-one-thousand-mile moves and now Grandmommy's in just over a year & a half, I am DONE DONE DONE with boxes & sorting! #boycottbeginsnow]


  1. I'm trying to get better about not saving everything too, and learning to be happy with memories (and digital pics!). It's a tough battle for us nostalgic-types, but it makes it that much easier on your loved ones when they have to figure out what to do with all of your stuff once you eventually pass away (Kotex anyone? :P ).


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