But Little Joey Made It!

There are certain objects in life you pretty much keep forever.  My son’s little handprint mashed into clay held paper clips on my desk for years  Now that we’re living in a 1000 square foot cottage overlooking San Francisco Bay, it’s wrapped in tissue in a box with a knit suit he wore on his first birthday in case he someday has a child of hi own.

If that makes me in an imperfect rightsizer, so be it!

But the boxes of his artwork from age two to thirteen? (He’s a video tape editor and professional photographer…no watercolors for him!)

Most of the sweet little squiggles went into the recycle bin in the course of our several moves since he graduated from college and has set out on his own life in New York City.  Yes, I felt a lump in my throat when I sent those memories on their way–and I still do when I think about it.  Nevertheless, we could not keep carrying around boxes of this kind of “memorabilia” and our son didn’t want it either!

Disposing of sentimental objects is among one of the hardest tasks of rightsizing your life.  However, some of the same options apply to this kind of emotion-laden possessions as to the rest of your holdings.

  • Offer the “collection” to the ‘artist’ first.
  • Save a few of the “best” and put them in a labeled folder to file.
  • Photograph the cutest remaining artwork and file it or create an album for a future gift.
  • Have your own little “farewell” ceremony before releasing it.
  • If the artist is still a child, dispose of what you must in private. (You don’t want to demotivate any budding Michaelangelo).

Not too long ago, I was going through some of the last boxes of things from our “big” move from Los Angeles to San Francisco and stumbled across my son’s High School letter jacket when he was a champion long-distance runner.  I immediately took it to FedEx Ground and dispatched it to the home he now shares with his adorable new bride.

Here’s what I received by email with the subject line: GOING STEADY!

Does this make a rightsizer feel great, or what?


  1. Jerry Baldwin Fretz says:

    It is refreshing and encouraging to discover your website. My life has been one of many moves, losses, tumultuous marriages, widowhood, ill children, wonderful trips as well as other great life experiences. Many items have wonderful memories while others have equally painful ones. It has been strange to me that attempting to rid myself of life’s clutter is not any easier from the joyful than the painful. Someone would probably win a prize helping me figure this mess out. However, I am working on it and appreciate the tips, clues, and suggestions that you recommend. Keep up the good work.

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