Friday, October 8, 2010

Is it a barn or a storage closet?

Barb at Frugal Texas discussed deciding on heirloom or clutter.
We have lived in some exotic places. Add to that my grandfather collected art in the 1930's and 40's. Together they fill part of a barn that desperately needs to be dealt with. There is little question all this stuff influenced our choice of  barn (and the home attached to it).

We probably have twenty boxes that have not been opened since they were packed between fifteen and thirty years ago. Don't laugh! The one with the description of what is inside in Chinese drives me crazy.   Maybe I should sell it as a mystery box.

 Man vs Debt put out a fabulous book on getting rid of your crap. He has loads of ideas on how to sell the stuff.  My problem is back to Barb's...what is a heirloom and what is clutter?  At this point it is all clutter to me since it lives in my barn and not my house.
Then there are my adult children. What is their heirloom?

The easy answer is to call up my children and ask what they want.  Not so simple. My son is in the military and not yet married.  Would his future wife like my grandmother's tea set? My daughter's husband just left the Marines. They have a small child. Shouldn't I be nice and just hold on to pieces while they make their next ten moves before settling?

What happens if our children become nomads like us?  Would we be doing them a favor getting rid of this stuff? Maybe my siblings should be involved in the ridding of the "grandfather" objects.

If you have collected some interesting things, what have you done with it? Please don't tell me scrap books. Those overwhelmed me about five years after my daughter was born!

Maybe I will deal with it when we move, in about ten years.


  1. You are so right that it's hard to decide what to keep as an heirloom or what your kids might want. My parents are in their 80's and my mom has given me quite a few things already but my husband and I want to downsize for our retirement.

    Our daughter has her own home but I'm not sure she wants boxes of great-grandmother's wedding dishes sitting in a box in her closet at this point.

    Still, you can't just go out and sell this stuff. It doesn't seem right to do that.

  2. That is the struggle- what to sell.