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What do I do with those items inscribed or engraved with my name that catch my heart every time I see them?

This question came from readers who are moving or downsizing when they read my post  What To Do With Old Awards

The size of their new home means that these items can no longer be easily displayed. In several cases, these inscribed items were found in basement boxes that had sat unpacked for years. A flood of sentimental memories emerged as each item was uncovered.  

Each was inscribed or engraved.

A silver rose bowl for a prize winning horse.  Granddad’s pen set from his 20 years of employment with a company. Monogrammed silverware from Great-Gran. Bronzed baby shoes from 60 years ago. A ‘mug-rug’ Father’s Day gift from an enthusiastic young son now in his 30s. Personalized ball caps from a team win.

I invite us to ask these questions as we consider downsizing these personalized items.

What touches us so deeply about seeing our name or the name of a loved one on an object?  Does seeing a name mirrored back to us make us feel more real? Are we flooded with nostalgia as the object transports us back in time?  Do we feel that we need this item to remember that special person in the midst of our current busy lives?  Does this item remind us of hard work and accomplishment from an era of our lives that is long gone?

In response, one friend said “I could never let any of these items go! I will keep them forever. When I am gone, someone else can deal with them."

Another downsizer said “There comes a time…..and it is now!”

In my own downsizing of decades of personal and family inscribed items, I ask:

Does another object or photo serve the purpose of remembering that special time or person? For example, is it a better choice to keep the framed photo of my prize winning dog and me than the trophy? Does having a baby photo of a middle-aged man and his parents mean he can let the bronzed booties go? Does the leather belt that my son made that I still wear trump the mug-rug?  Could the silver rose bowl be re-purposed to corral items in my home-office?

Here is another blog post that may help you in your decision-making about those heart-tug items: Downsizing Inherited Sentimental Objects