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Lighter Living Task #5 Collections

Empty colorful plates collection

Lighter Living is more than a book. Lighter Living Tasks are weekly suggestions to make progress on decluttering, organizing and simplifying your life. By working on parts of your home each week, you will breaking big projects into small, manageable tasks.

Collections can be fabulously fun but also potentially a burden to those we leave behind. This week I will talk about collections. Collections can be meaningful for the collector. It can be fun to search for new additions. It may be a source of pride to show others your collections. I am not suggesting to stop doing something that brings you immense pleasure. If however, the collection has lost its favor with you, it may be time to find a new home for it.

After my dad died, I had to clear out his house. Much of his museum quality American Indian and cowboy stuff went to one of my brothers. But there were so many items I had to sort and figure out what to do with. Some things were donated and some things such as magazines went into the recycle bin. A friend later told me that my dad’s Texas Longhorn Cattle magazines should have gone to some particular person or place. I was perturbed. If a pile of magazines should have gone somewhere in particular, why didn’t my dad tell me? He had years of decline in which I asked him where things should go and he never mentioned those magazines.

As a result of what happened with my dad, I firmly suggest that we all write down where our collections are to go or tell our family our wishes. Furthermore, my dad actually had warning of his death and could have arranged for the magazine donation while he was alive to know this collection was in a better place than a recycle facility or landfill.

I have a lot of Christmas and other holiday decorations. Each year I attempt to reduce them by getting rid of ones I don’t like anymore or giving away some to others or places that want to add little extra festive atmosphere.

I also have a few collections myself such as 23 Barbra Streisand record albums. And I do have a lot of books although at least once a year I thin them out and give some away.

So this week, consider your collections. Do you still have childhood toys like my snoopy? If you still have relics from childhood or earlier years, are they in boxes or out on display? Is it time to consider what would be a better use of them?

If you wish to keep your collections, then give some thought to what will become of them after you pass away. Who will be responsible for their disbursement and what instructions might be helpful? Enjoy your collections but be mindful of what happens to them after your death and the time and work for the person left with them.

Between tasks posted on this blog, be sure to read Lighter Living if you have not already.