Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the fault line
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Wow, your grandmother sounds amazing! Can you incorporate some of her things into your own life and get rid of what you are using? Like use her pottery as your dishes, hang her drawings, display her sculpture? Might some of it be useful for teaching your kids down the road? For example, I have all my grandfather's army medals. My son is now really interested in military history. So I plan to have my son help me research what each medal was for. Then I'm hoping down the road to have some of the medals framed and send them to my brother. He knew my grandfather, whereas I didn't, so I think they would be more meaningful to him. Plus I never know what to get him for his birthday- two problems solved!
I had to clean out my parents' house last summer and faced a somewhat similar problem with papers. My dad was a professor who wrote a couple of books and was working on others. He had tons of papers. I tried to keep some representative sample of it- outlines from some of his favorite courses, an overview of the book he was writing, some key correspondence that I found particularly interesting or funny. I also kept a couple of his dictation tapes- the content was dry but I love having something with his voice. He had terrible handwriting, so I ended up pitching lots of stuff I couldn't read. And in the later part of his life, he worked on computer, and realistically I am never going to sit down and read all his computerized stuff, so I got rid of it.
I also have boxes of photos, etc. I hope someday to do a keepsake box for each of my parents and grandparents. Hopefully being limited to a certain size box will help me be selective.
While decluttering is great, I think you are smart to try to hold on to some of these things. Your goal of cutting the papers in half seems really sensible to me. As an older child and teenager, I was really interested in my ancestors, so I hope you will keep enough to carry on your grandmother's memory!