Keep the Memories — Leave the Stuff
Originally published May 2008
Updated July 2018
Yes, this post is a few days early, but I'm on my way to Montana to follow some of my own advice. My mom died last week and I'm off to help my brother go through her things. My goal is to come back with only memories.
I may bring a few items back that I can enjoy and use today, but if it's going to stay in a box until someday, then I'm going to let it go. I know there will be many reminders of wonderful times together, and stories filled with fun and laughter. I want to keep the memories, not collect the clutter.
I'm bringing a beautifully bound journal in which I'll write those stories. As I go through my mom's things, I'll journal what I remember. Sure, it may slow the sorting process, but I want to remember the fun times; the wonderful times; the 'oh, I can't believe I remembered this' times; or even 'do you remember when we used to...' times. I will end up laughing and crying, but I see it as a celebration of my mom's life, not just clearing away her things.
I'll be taking pictures. Lots of pictures. Some I may add to my journal and others will be there for me to flip through later. I have plans to create an online photo album that contains keywords and explanatory titles for each picture. But I know that it's not likely to happen any time soon. But I'll have them. I'll be able to take them with me wherever I go and no dusting required.
Whether they're new pictures or old, a great way to display them is on a Nixplay digital photo frame and enjoy them. Check out the article MY NIXPLAY DIGITAL FRAME: THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING from The Photo Organizer.
Whether you use the journal or the photo method to remember the stories behind the things or find another way to keep the memories and leave the stuff, have fun and enjoy life.