One thing I tell myself when I am trying to de-clutter is, "Am I honoring this item by where it is in my home?" Just a nifty little tip I picked up from TLC's Clean Sweep TV show. But, think about it. If you are leaving all your family history "stuff" in a box, then how are you honoring it? You're not. So, get it out of the box!
Sometimes this can be a daunting task, so the first question to ask yourself is, "Do I want this displayed in my home or in an album?" If the answer is yes, then you keep it. If the answer is no, then it might be time to think about passing it on to someone who may want to display it, or selling it to someone who can appreciate it more. I know this is hard to do when it is something with sentimental value. But, how much value are you truly giving it if you leave it in a box?
Take for example the photo on this post. What if you had inherited this beautiful dress from a great, great grandmother. Are you ever going to wear it? Do you want to hang it up and display it somewhere in your home? Would any of your children wear it or display it in their homes? If the answer is no, then you may not want to hang on to it. The thing you might want to consider doing with items such as this is taking a picture of it. That's why I love this photo. The person took a picture of the actual dress, and along side it is a photo of, I'm assuming, the woman or relative that once wore the dress. I can't be sure because it's not my photo, but we can assume for the sake of this article.
So, what now? The thing I love so much about this is that you don't necessarily have to hang on to this dress now. You can scrapbook it in your heritage album. You have a picture of the dress itself, along with a photo of who wore it, so now you can take that picture and expound on what it really meant to you and your family. On a scrapbook page, you can journal to your heart's desire on the significance of this dress in your family. That way, you are honoring it. By doing this, you can pull that photo album out any time and show it to other family members. But, if you leave it deep in a closet never pulling it out, or folded up in a box, it is not giving the item the honor it so richly deserves!
So, next time you are going through your old items, think about taking photos of some of them instead of leaving them in a box. You can do this with just about anything! Then you can properly honor those items through scrapbooking about them and save yourself a lot of space!