I was standing in the middle of my mother’s living room faced with the task of deciding which of my parent’s possessions I wanted to keep. My mother’s style of decorating was eclectic but leaned towards the traditional. I am a fan of Mid-Century Modern. Mom collected many lovely antiques as well as indigenous and folk art. I gravitate towards watercolors, glass and graphic designs. She had good taste and I appreciated each piece individually but they weren't necessarily my style.
I knew walking into the house the decisions were going to be emotional but I did not want the result of my feelings to be clutter in my home. I developed a list of criteria that would help me kept those items which fit into my life.
Here is my list:
1. The article must be beautiful or useful or both.
2. It must fit with the style of my home.
3. It cannot be damaged or broken.
I tested each item I thought I wanted against my criteria and found that the decisions became easier. Yes, it was sad to say goodbye to some objects but today I am okay with my choices. The things I did take fit into our life and I do smile when I use them. I have no guilt or second thoughts about what I let go. As I went through the process I reminded myself that the belongings in my parent’s house represented their life and while I would take some things, I needed to craft my own home.
Let me know what criteria you used when saying goodbye to the possessions in your parent’s home. What would you add to this list of criteria when deciding on what items you wanted to keep?