The other night I had a
nightmare dream I was back at my grandparent’s homestead in Memphis, picking out tchotchkes to take home.
You know, tchotchkes, the Yiddish word for trinkets, or Leah’s word for junk.
People love picking them up on trips or at an antique store.
And a lot are inherited. I mean a lot.
I have clients with tchotchkes in their attics, their basements, on every surface in their homes and hidden in cabinets.
And you know what? They don’t even love them. Because there’s no way you can love that many things.
They keep them because the items belonged to their grandparents or parents, and they plan to
saddle pass them on to their children.
The problem with this logic is if we collect all these tchotchkes and plan to give them to our children, by that time, the tchotchkes have multiplied a lot, because there are four grandparents, plus two parents, and then your child may get married and inherit all of their spouse’s family’s
junk, er tchotchkes. Oy vey.
Here is what I tell clients after they call me because they literally can’t breathe with all this stuff: “When you give away this piece, you are not giving away Mama or Grandma. Mama or Grandma will always be in your heart. And if you don’t love-love it, it should not be in your home.”
You should decide what to keep by choosing only what you love-love. Not if you merely love it. Certainly not if you just like it. And definitely not if you hate it.
Why do I say you have to love-love it to keep it? Because most people have so much stuff in their homes, it’s the only way to significantly cut down on the clutter. If a client picks out what she merely “likes,” there is still too much stuff. But if a client picks what she loves-loves, she can get rid of a lot, and there is still plenty of tchotchkes to tastefully display on bookshelves. They are just no longer in the attic or basement or cluttering up the den.
I work with an auctioneer who sells the items you don’t keep. In some cases, clients have made back the money they spent on me and then some.
Folks, it’s time to take back your house and set boundaries about the amount of trinkets you surround yourself with. They should all have meaning, not just an item that I got from mama, and I hate it, but I have to keep it because my kids may want it.
Because here is a little secret: Your kids don’t want it any more than you do.