Monday, August 11, 2014

Be your own Curator: Part One

Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.
                                                                  Henry Ford

What is in those boxes, plastic containers, closets, drawers, attic, garage, basement, and everywhere else? Ask yourself:  
  What should you keep?
  What should you release?
  Where will your treasurers ultimately reside?

As you open them all, be thoughtful and look at what was saved with new eyes. Do the items still please you, intrigue you, teach you about a subject that continues to hold fascination for you? Hopefully yes!

Questions for keeping                Reasons for saving
- Why am I keeping this            - Because I want to
- Where to keep it                      - Create a Family Museum
- Something I really want          - Did and still do
- Can it still be used                   - Probably not, but that’s ok
- Is it still attractive                    - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
- Is it still functional                   - Possibly but not necessary
- Is it obsolete                            - Could be but no matter 
- Is it damaged                           - Yes/No. No matter. 
- Should it get fixed                    - Maybe, but no need to
- Does keeping it matter             - Absolutely
- Does it have value                   - Yes. It's priceless

Ask yourself
- How would I feel if it isn’t in my world any longer?  

  Depends on how important it is.
- Who would care if I got rid of it? Does it
   really matter?   You. Your family.  Yes!
- What’s the worst thing that could happen if I 
   let it go?   Never have it again.
- Do I feel buried in treasurers?
  Ask how would you feel if you didn't keep
  those treasures.
- Do I think I am a prisoner of my possessions?
  Think yourself a Caretaker.

Here are two examples that should be saved & how to display them: 
1. Clothing: That special dress or uniform. Think
    vintage. Think precious. Recall the time it was
    worn. Think about passing it down, such as a
    christening or wedding gown. Use your
    imagination when displaying it:
* Hang or prop it up, attach or place items affiliated
   with it, such as shoes & accessories. Place a photo of it being 
* Did you save those special T-Shirts? (I did! Boxes
   of them). Organize the shirts by size and subject
   matter, such as travels, school, hobbies. Make a
   simple blanket or a T-shirt quilt.
2. Furniture: Antique highchairs, baby
  & doll cradles, toy boxes, rocking horses,
  tables & chairs, rugs. 
* Use a Chest of Drawers from which 
   small pieces of clothing can be hung
   from the handles. Larger pieces, such as
   a suit or gown can be laid in an open drawer.
   Other items can be stored in closed drawers.
* Curio cabinets are great places to display small pieces such as      
   jewelry boxes, antique books, hand-made pieces.
* Regard the rugs like a tapestry and hang it on a wall. 

Deciding, sorting, keeping, discarding, displaying and storing items in your Family Museum may seem like a daunting task, and sometimes it is. I have been perplexed, uncertain, frustrated, bemused and amused. And I needed help. I told the family that this endeavor is for everyone and that we all need to be involved with the making of our museum. When everyone works together, not only does it make the process easier, it makes it fun.
So, do not be overwhelmed.
Take your time, be patient, think about each item you place on the shelf, on the wall, in the drawer, or even back in the box. You can display it later and when the time comes to pass it on, it is already packed and ready to go. 

Part Two: Art collections, photographs, recorded history.

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