What can I do in one hour to prepare "treasures" for the next generation? 

This question came from someone whose full life allows little free time. However, Jen wants to start organizing her stuff! 

I suggested she start with the 20 items hanging on her living room and hallway walls. 

Jen's collection includes original paintings and numbered prints (one of a limited print of original art). Another wall contains old family portraits and family craft projects (needlework and woodwork). Framed concert posters and mass produced prints bought at big box stores hung in the hallways. 

I suggested to Jen that she take her hour to label the backs of her collection. A Sharpie black pen works on most surfaces. Caution: a permanent marker could bleed through the backing or affect the value of original art or a limited print. Other options include Ballpoints on sticky notes and removable tape on a safe surface such as a wooden frame. Other hanging items may require an attached paper enclosure or sleeve.

Briefly tell the history: where did it come from? when? who has owned it? Why is it special? Is there any monetary value should it be sold (original art or a collector’s item). Who could be gifted this item when it is time to pass it on?

Label those old photographs or portraits. The next generations may not think they are interested in that old portrait, however interests change over time and as we age! Include the subject’s name (and women’s birth names). Add the ages, date and location, event or anything else that may be known including the name of the photographer or artist or craftsperson.

Do you own an original painting? Google the artist. In one case, I found the artist’s obituary, and contacted her local family to see if they would like a painting that I was ready to pass on. They were delighted to gift it to the care-home where the artist once lived. An older original painting may be valuable.  You may not know the artist, but their work may now be a collector’s item. 

Perhaps a painting or print will have significance only to its current owner. Think downsizing!  Write a note on the back to sell or donate this item when the time comes.  

This project sounds as though it will take longer than an hour!  It could if you have a lot of wall items! 

Jen labelled her 20 items in less than an hour. This one small act has inspired her to another hour of organizing and downsizing!