Family Heirlooms, Asset or Burden?

I am now an orphan, an old orphan but one never the less. I have four siblings and our parents’ belongings have been shared out but we all face a similar dilemma, there are things that we don’t really want yet they seem too important to give away or sell.

When my grandmother died in 1959 she left me a few things including family portraits and her antique little lounge, grandfather chair etc. These things sat in the front room of my parents’ home until my father died and I had to take possession. They have been sitting in our shed now for about 3 years.

We have photos of our children and grandchildren on our shelves and walls, they are important to us now, there is simply no room for portraits of my Nana as a young woman or my great grandmother. BUT! I loved my Nana very much and I know she loved me, the inscription on the back is a constant reminder.

A friend of mine has reached absolute despair because along with all her own accumulated stuff she has her late mother’s belongings in her house and has no idea how to deal with any of it. An outsider with no emotional attachment to any of the things would immediately say, ”Just get rid of it!” When it relates to a bunch of old Christmas and Birthday cards I can do that fairly easily but how can you just dump a family heirloom?

I hope I’ve found a solution. I’m making myself a flowchart to help me decide what to do with things and hoping that at least some will be accepted by an historical society. I don’t want to pass on a burden instead of a treasure to my own children, I just hope I never hear them say, “I can’t believe you did that!”

My Great Grandmother,  born in 1846.

My Great Grandmother, born in 1846.

Does this ring any bells with you?

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