What’s the difference? Can Treasured Memories Be Just Memorabilia Clutter?
The recent 29th anniversary of losing my Mum made me think “How do I treasure the memories of Mum?”. It’s something many of us will do in different ways. Over the years one thing I’ve experienced in my work is that we all keep physical items to memorialise lost loved ones. So, where is the point of something turning from memorabilia into clutter? The question then becomes – Do I have memorabilia clutter? Or are the things I’m keeping actually treasured memories? And memories to be kept for who? Am I treasuring the memory of her or just the stuff that represents the memory? Some tricky questions that I know at some point everyone may have to face one day.
The question then becomes – Do I have memorabilia clutter? Or are the things I’m keeping actually treasured memories? And memories to be kept for who? Am I treasuring the memory of her or just the stuff that represents the memory? Some tricky questions that I hope to shed some light on for you.
We know that when a loved one is lost a range of strong emotions take over our heart and mind. It’s a time where things can feel overwhelming and at the same time feeling emptiness. Thinking back to these times of my life a strong urge to hold on to the memory of the person is ever present. The way most of us do that is to keep the possessions that represent that loved one.
What Memorabilia Clutter? Sorry, I Just Don’t See It.
See the photo at the start of the blog, these are some of my Grandmothers possessions. Her elbow length satin gloves, beads and jewellery. What’s significant about this is that I have no memory of my Grandmother she also passed away at a very young age when I was still a baby. So why do I keep these things? Surely that is memorabilia clutter? I’m still going to say NO, they are treasured memories! Let me tell you my theory from my experience with these treasured memories.
These items form part of the memories of my childhood. I remember many times going into my mother’s room and digging this old box out of the bottom of the wardrobe. Opening it up like it was buried treasure to look into the life of a Grandmother I never knew. Trying on her things I imagined what her life was like and the things she did while wearing those gorgeous satin gloves and beads. I built my own memories within these items, the treasured memories, in this case, are also for me. Now, this same box sits in the bottom of my wardrobe.
Now Your Turn –
Take a look at what items you are holding on to? What is the memory they hold? Who is this memory being kept alive for, is it for you or someone else? Is it strong enough to form a treasured memory?
Be real about the memorabilia you are keeping to experience more of the joy these items represent, the joy of a life lived.
Knowing When Memorabilia Clutter Needs Attention?
Memorabilia is one of those categories in our lives that is easily tucked away and forgotten about. After all, we’re not going to be sitting around each week browsing through old photo albums in our spare time. But there is a point when we have to be realistic about the amount of memorabilia we are storing away.
As time has passed over the last 29 years I’ve come to realise some very important truths about myself and the life I want to lead. This has been a big part of the way I treasure the memories of my lost loved ones. For me, the memories of my Mum are best treasured in the experiences we shared growing up and even more in the actions, I take every day to live my life to the fullest, being brave to step up and out as who I truly am.
The stuff I keep as memorabilia is minimal and for me has not much value as I feel more strongly in my heart of minds her legacy than in her possessions. I know this won’t be true for everyone but I just want you to take a moment and ask “What would they want for me right now?”
Now Your Turn –
Is the amount of memorabilia in your home restricting you from living the way you would really love to? Would you loved ones want you to restrict your life to keep their stuff?
It might be time to ask for some support from an understanding friend or family member to help you with the memorabilia clutter. This is where the support of an experienced Professional Organiser can make a very difficult task more manageable and less emotionally taxing. An organiser like myself who is also an Accredited Mental Health First Aider would be ideal for this assistance also.
Thank you for being here. I hope my story has helped shed some new light on a difficult subject. Writing this blog for you has been really wonderful because it gave me the opportunity to explore more about how we all deal with these times of life. If you need a support of any kind feel free to reach out. I was fortunate to have time with my mum before she passed from cancer, every situation has its challenges so don’t keep to yourself there are some wonderful supports for you.
Here are a few resources to assist for anyone needing support:
Beyond Blue Grief and Loss Information Cancer Carer Gateway Red Kite Family Bereavement Support
With Infinite Peace and Gratitude,