Feeling Sentimental

I have always like that word, sentimental. It evokes feelings of beating my grandma in Scrabble. It reminds me of Junior year of High School when my girlfriend dumped me, so I mean there’s also that. If ever there was a time for sentimentality, it’s now. Families are either all gathered together to celebrate the holidays or scattered to the far reaches of the world. In either event December is a time for holding onto the memories we hold. Here are a few things that you might treasure that you need some help holding on to.

GRANDMA’S JEWELRY

Truth be known, no one fought over my grandma’s jewelry. We all knew who it belonged with, my cousin Rebecca. Now she tells me that there are a few precautions to take when storing antique jewelry.

  • Get your jewelry professionally cleaned by an antique jeweler. Dust and grime will eat away at and discolor jewelry.
  • Keep a special jewelry box. It doesn’t to be fancy or have any special technology. It just needs to be kept away from things that might scratch or bend it. Maybe even store it away from the rest of your items.
  • Spring for climate control. Antiques are particularly susceptible to temperature swings. That’s why you should store these in a climate-controlled storage unit. That way you can rest easy knowing her items will be safe for generations to come
  • Wear it every now and again. Jewels were made to be worn, so on special occasions, break out the gold earrings or bangles. It’s time to be fancy.

FAMILY PHOTOS

A shrinking phenomenon, but one that will likely see a resurgence is the photograph. Sure, now everything can be shared digitally, but there is no indexicality in a digital picture. No preservation of that which was captured, only an array of digital information. An interpretation of life, but not a slice of it. If you have a good number of photos that need to be stored, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Go for climate control again. Photos, especially hard copies, do not like high temperatures. In fact, they don’t even really like mild temperatures. Anything above 75 degrees Fahrenheit is likely to cause damage to the chemicals that make-up a photo. Add into that moisture sensitivity, and a climate-controlled storage unit is just the only way to go.
  • Keep them off the ground. Keep photos stored high up, on shelves or in cabinets, as these areas are less susceptible to temperature swings.
  • Keep them fully enclosed. You don’t need to frame every single picture but be sure that each picture is not exposed to the elements. Storing them in boxes will do wonders to keep them safe and sound. Also, avoid adhesives. It goes along with the temperature thing. It is a surefire to destroy the photos.

BABY CLOTHES

Sure, your kids are too big to wear their Batman onesie everywhere, or anywhere, now. That does not mean that you should toss the clothes – and even if you consider throwing them away donate them instead. Putting their clothes and childhood toys in storage might come in handy 20-30 years down the line when suddenly a baby appears. Here are a few ways to handle storing cloth and linen for the long haul.

  • Any time you store clothes, make sure that they are clean. If there is one thing that will ruin a trip to get baby clothes it is the realization that a shirt was covered in vomit for 20 years. You don’t want that, I don’t want that. Wash the stuff.
  • Sort by size. For baby clothes, store and label them according to the age of the child. That just makes sense any way you slice it. After all, that is how you bought them in the first place. Though I do often wonder how they know what size a six-month old is.
  • Bag it. For baby clothes, everything is the enemy. Especially nature. Nature ruined the cute outfits you picked in the first place by having the child get bigger, and it will ruin them a second time. Some extra-large Ziploc, or similar, bags will do the trick.

While January is the time to look forward, December is the time to look back. We hold onto these things because they are precious to us, they remind us of simpler times when life was a little bit easier. Isn’t that what we are really after this holiday season?

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