Blog by Beebe Cline

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Edit Keepsakes With Confidence — What to Let Go and What to Keep

Do you know how much space your keepsakes take up? If you had to leave your home quickly, could you locate your most treasured (nonliving) possessions within a few minutes? And what about the family members who will one day inherit all of this stuff: Will it feel like a blessing to them or a burden?

If you have a basement, a garage or an attic (and perhaps a storage unit, too) filled with boxes of stuff, you are not alone. It's easier to hold on to something than let it go. But the reality is, things have to go sometime — why not start making those decisions now, before a fire, a flood or future relatives make them for you? You can take control of your stuff, and your life story.

Here you'll learn how to confidently decide what is worth keeping for all time and what is not.
Finishing up and moving forward. As you get further into the process of editing your keepsakes, choose a special container to house the keepers. This container should be small enough for you to carry easily and sturdy enough to protect its treasured contents from mildew and critters. Keep your special box in the main part of your house, somewhere it can be quickly and easily located if you ever needed to evacuate.

As you work your way through all of your stuff, ask yourself of each item, Does this deserve a spot in The Box?

I urge you not to wiggle on this point. Don't make it two or three boxes. Just one box. Go ahead and keep a larger bunch of not-quite-so-important keepsakes in a different location, if you must, but when it comes to The Box, be ruthless. Over time you may come to realize that the stuff not in the box doesn't really need to be taking up all of that valuable real estate, and when you are ready, you can move on from it.

But having a single box of most treasured belongings is something wonderful in itself. If the rest of it disappeared, you would know it would be OK — that if this one box were left, it would be enough to be your legacy.