The past is in the past: should we try to preserve it?
The media has been bursting with ‘decluttering’ messages for some years now. In fact, we’ve been guilty of writing our own posts on the art of throwing things away. But how far do we take decluttering before we’re at risk of eradicating our history? Everything we own has a story of its own; it documents a certain time in our lives, who we were as a person and what we enjoyed. However it’s not just our own nostalgia we have to worry about – it’s our successors too.
We asked a few of our wonderful customers if they’d ever been passed something from a family member that they still cherish to this day. Here’s what we found out…
Susan, 59 – “my grandma gave me a box of lovely keepsakes from her childhood; a doll, letters, brooches. Lovely little things that she kept over the years. You can see some of the things she passed me in pictures of her. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to hold them in my hand.”
David, 46 – “I’ve got some of my dad’s old tools. They’re all battered from years of use but they bring back lots of memories. Building things in the garden and fixing things in the house. I want to pass them on to my son, just as my dad did.”
Alison, 50 – “I’ve got my mum’s sewing kit. All of the threads are tangled inside and I don’t use them, but they still sort of smell like her and for that reason I couldn’t ever see myself chucking them out. They’re not useful to me practically, but they’re a nice reminder of her.”
Even though the items we’re handed down aren’t practical in some cases, there’s a serious reluctance to part with them because they bring back memories – in turn, bringing us joy. Imagine if our previous generations had decluttered to the point of living in a big white room; what would we have to show for their lives now?
Why decluttering is dangerous
It’s important to note that we’re not promoting the idea of keeping absolutely everything we ever buy. That’d be entirely impractical advice given that house sizes are decreasing while our desire for more space is increasing.
What we are suggesting is that people consciously keep hold of their belongings to pass them on to their children and grandchildren in a bid to preserve a little bit of history. The Marie Kondo’s of this world may find it joyful to live with no more than 10 items. However here at Safestore we say – love your stuff.
No amount of minimalist shaming should ever be enough to separate you and your things. Cherish your stuff. Embrace your stuff. Because stuff is great.
If you were left anything by a family member that you still cherish to this day, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear about it!