Small House with Kids: Collecting or Curating?

Junk.  Stuff.  Odds and ends.  Pieces of things.  Something cute, now just in the way.

Do you ever go through a box or back of a drawer to find something you can’t even remember having?

I’ve dug through my stuff tons of times to trash, recycle or donate as much as possible.  yet with each pass I am able to let more stuff go.

However, I have a huge sense of history, in particular, family history.  I have a few boxes of “stuff” inherited from my grandparents.  Old family portraits line the guestroom walls.  Drawers of old letters, photos, and bulletins from funerals.  Then there is the furniture.  My folks still have most of it, but we have enough pieces that we have only had to buy a few things during our married life.  There is even my great-grandmother’s loom that her husband made out of scrap wood, hanging in pieces out in our garage.

Thankfully my husband also greatly appreciates the worth of family and historic items.

But when is too much, too much?

Now, I’m not giving anything up of historical value for the family.  I’m keeping it all and will pay for a storage unit if I need to or lend out to local history museums.

But I never want things to take over my life.

When acquiring and collecting becomes more than a habit, but a need.  When items are being ruined from neglect, and heirlooms are being lost in the midst of junk store finds…

Well, something needs to be done.

I’ve got a few drawers to go through, some boxes, and I’m working on my quilting/sewing area as well as the “dump everything here” area near my side of the bed.  The preschool already has received some great yarn I’ll never get made into anything.  I’m searching out ways to use and display, rather than store and forget, the precious photos and farming tools.

I love this stuff, so I want to live with this stuff.  I want to see it, rather than have it buried under plastic bins of toys.

I can’t have it all out – not when our two little kids do not yet fully understand the consequences of having a light-saber fight in the family room.

Yet, I also want my children to appreciate history – their history.  It connects them (and me) to those who they will never know, but whose lives have made an impact on theirs.

But I’m ready to have a place I am proud of by making choices that reflect who I am, who my family is, and especially, that God – not stuff – is my priority.

Gracious God, help me create an honest home.  Help me live an honest life.  Amen.

About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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6 Responses to Small House with Kids: Collecting or Curating?

  1. chmjr2 says:

    I wish you all the best with your heirlooms. Place and display those that you can. I believe that by doing that your children will realize the value you place on them. Also as you tell their stories they will learn more about their family history. By doing this they will learn about the people who came before them and the debt they owe them.

    • SFriant says:

      Thanks! I love genealogy, and cherish the heirlooms that demonstrate their lives. One favorite is the coffee grinder that the family used at the Finnish homestead – it still has coffee grounds in it from I don’t know how long ago! I’ve continued the coffee-drinking habit in my life.

  2. erinrosalita says:

    What a well-placed prayer, to ask for an “honest life,” well-lived. I think you really hit the nail on the head with this: “I love this stuff, so I want to live with this stuff. I want to see it, rather than have it buried under plastic bins of toys.”

    We should only have the beautiful, important, useful things around us, the things we treasure as more than just objects to fill empty space and empty hearts. Once we start to fill our spaces with things we don’t need or want or enjoy, that’s when we know we have a problem. Best of luck in your cleaning/organizing spree!

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