Memorabilia

Ephemera

One of my daily pleasures is doing the crossword puzzle in the New York Times. In yesterday’s puzzle, the clue for 9-down was “Things meant to be used and then thrown away.” I knew the answer right away: ephemera. I use this word frequently with my clients because I want to help them decide which paper items they should save and which they should let go. Dictionary.com further defines ephemera as “items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially…

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Sharing Priceless Family Photos

After my father passed away earlier this year, I took possession of his priceless family photo albums. These were photos that he had obtained over the years from his parents. Some of them showed his parents when they were teenagers back in Hungary in the early part of the 20th century. Others were of him and his brothers during their youth in Brooklyn. Some included their young wives, including my mother. I knew that these photos were special and needed to be…

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My Parents’ Legacy

After my father passed away at the end of January, my sister and I took two months to clear out our family apartment (as I described in Home is Where the Heart Is). Although most of our parents’ possessions were sold, donated, or discarded, I brought home a bag of things that I just didn’t feel right about throwing away. These things were not valuable or even of great sentimental value. They were simply items that my parents had held on to for many…

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When Clothing is Not Clothing

I’ve noticed this a lot recently when I’ve been helping clients organize their closets or dresser drawers. We are sorting the items into categories, and the client says, “Oh, I don’t wear that.  I keep it because it has a special memory associated with it.” As soon as I hear that, I say, “Then this isn’t clothing. This is memorabilia.”

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Home Is Where The Heart Is

Today, my sister and I finished clearing out our family home of nearly 40 years.  It wasn’t the home we grew up in — we moved out of that apartment three weeks before I graduated high school.  But it was where we introduced our parents to the men who would become their sons-in law; where we brought our children to play with their cousins; where we mourned our mother three years ago and helped my father reestablish his new life, which ended two…

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