Downsizing Relics Past and Present

JediTime was that when someone died, all their possessions would be passed on to the youngest generation to get them started in home-making. So there was no need to downsize because people didn’t have much to start with. Now, we collect not only household items, but relics of our sports heroes, of different wars, religious leaders, and probably more that I haven’t heard of. Although I recently learned that collecting Star Wars memorabilia is huge.

Sports heroes—there’s a scrap of Mickey Mantle’s sweater available to purchase on the Internet. Sports museums exist with restored pieces of equipment formerly used/worn by the greats, everything from skates to boxing gloves. Are these reverenced by fans simply because someone famous wore/used them? Did someone profit from downsizing this from their collection?

War relics—why do people purchase these items? Who needs a 1947 pair of GI boxer shorts? Is our society role-playing, pretending to be the people who wore such pieces of clothing?

Celebrity items–John Lennon’s tooth sold recently for over $30,000. Why would anyone want this? The dentist who bought it (Dr. Michael Zuk of Alberta) reports he will display it in his office to show that even celebrities have cavities. Who would know whose tooth it is without all the hype? The person John gave it to made a financial profit from saving it all these years, but finally decided to downsize it out of his space.

There are some relics that I do see value in. For example at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. It’s a learning space where the history of footwear can be viewed and help the visitor understand how different clothing and even lifestyles are today from past times. To me, this is historical information from which to learn, not to be sold for profit. Many of these shoes were downsized from someone’s closet.

We need to remember that things aren’t the person. By holding on to our wedding dresses (sometimes long after the marriage has ended) or the threadbare high school hockey and football jackets (too small now) don’t bring those happy times back. Do we attribute human characteristics to our stuff? Is that why we seem to need to keep such items? Consider letting them and the past go and move forward in life.

If you’ve been collecting relics from times gone by, this might be a good time to evaluate them. What do they represent to us? Why do we still have them? Maybe now is the time to downsize those relics we’ve been holding, imagining the original owner to be with us.

What have you been keeping that goes far back into your past? Have you asked yourself why it’s still there? Are you able to let it go? When will you do this? Please join the conversation by commenting in the space below? We’d love to hear your opinions.


© 2013 Moreen Torpy

We would be honored for you to reprint this article. If you do, please include the resource box below with the hyperlinks intact. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a Trained Professional Organizer, Author, and Speaker. Her new book is Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In. See for more about the book including where to purchase it, and to learn about her organizing services and other books. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Speak Your Mind