Creating heirloom memories is fun and easy but it does take some pre-planning.
I love helping people re-purpose things to create items and share memories of loved ones.
We can be such a disposable, throw away society so the next time you are cleaning out your children’s clothes to make room for new ones – think about saving a special outfit or T-shirts.
When you are downsizing your home or your parents look at everything not as old but as a new possibility. Are there shirts, sweaters, finished or unfinished craft items that can be re-purposed into keepsakes for new baby gifts, father or mother day gifts, Christmas or birthday gifts?
Shirts can be made into pillows, quilts, picture; sweaters into mittens, pillow covers or golf club covers; cup and saucers can become bird baths or bird feeders and tea pots out in the garden can be homes for birds and butterflies – the ideas are endless and all are possible.
Why hold onto a keepsake and keep it in a box stored hidden away. The easiest way to downsize and become more efficient is either display or use the item – my motto is ‘if I can’t see it or use it then it goes’ I refuse to store things in boxes just to have them. I recognize there are seasonal items that require storage but to reduce and declutter overall requires a strong will and looking at being able to re-purpose special keepsakes can make the task easier.
I realized this lesson one day when our first granddaughter was born. I had stored our daughter’s baby clothes up in our attic in boxes for well over 25 years! When her niece was born we brought these things out. I was so excited!!
I was going to get to see my new little granddaughter wear some of her Aunt’s special outfits I had saved. In showing them to my daughter-in-law and daughter both of them insisted that the outfit either be used now, my daughter’s feelings or put back in the box for the next lucky little girl, my daughter-in-law’s response !! Neither of them really wanted to use the clothes. There were a couple of little dresses but mostly I realized, after my disappointment, things were outdated, spit-up on, yellowed or just plain not their taste. And I realized that these were important to me and that they wanted to buy and get excited about their own new things for their babies!
So, we re-purposed!! We went through the clothes and I altered some to fit one of the bigger baby dolls. We cut down a bunting bag, altered sleepers and dresses. Then discarded the other dolls and any of my daughter’s baby clothes that were not ever going to be used.
We put together a doll with her new wardrobe in the toy closet for a future play day!
I am pleased to say that baby doll, Leanne, and her beautiful wardrobe brought hours of joy to my granddaughter and smiles from her Auntie when she recognized the outfits as once being hers!
This was far better than keeping them in the box in the attic.