What to do with a lifetime of possessions? We completely underestimated the amount of time it took to go through all our possessions to decide on whether to sell/give to friends / give to charity / retain in storage. Dumping was rarely used as we always favour reuse over recycling. It is liberating to let go of things especially if they have been rarely used.
- Should we have kept the toys and books loved by the kids when they were little and which might one day be used again for grandchildren? Wishful thinking!
- Should we have kept clothes and things offered as presents by loved ones who have since passed? We certainly struggled with this one, opting to take photos most of the time to replace the actual presents and in a few special cases , to hold onto things which mean most to us.
- Should we have kept about 1,000 birthday cards which we had stored for the children from birth? No!
- Should we have kept the hundreds of personal correspondence letters which we received before the invention of email? A fantastic opportunity to send the letters back, where possible, to friends who had written those letters 40 years ago! That said, some letters had been written by people we didn’t even remember, so those were easy to discard.
- Where disagreements arose over whether to store or not, we had the policy of storing things which one of us was keen to keep, even where a first print Dark Side of the Moon vinyl may have brought in a tidy sum!
Storage is crazily expensive in London, so we looked at sites which are more remote and other options. A great site is www.lovespace.com but we ended up renting a friend’s space underneath their unused attic eaves.