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Spring Cleaning Takes on New Meaning in 2021
Happy Spring! It’s easy to believe that after humanity’s collective last year, there has never in history been a more welcome season than Spring 2021. All around the globe, in homes of all types and sizes, spring cleaning is in full swing. It’s a safe bet that a significant number of those homes harbor hidden heirlooms that will be unearthed this season, as people emerge from a long dark pandemic winter and clean like they’ve never cleaned before.
“If there is ever a year to take an active role in preserving your family history, this is it,” said Clea Shearer of The Home Edit. “Spring cleaning is traditionally thought to be a time of decluttering and clearing, but there is also an opportunity to bring rich new meaning and thoughtfulness to the age-old tradition,” she added.
So, when you’re spring cleaning this year, take the opportunity to sort out items that you want to preserve from things that can be jettisoned. When you’re ready to categorize your keepsakes, get out your digital phone and start snapping some photos. The processing of organizing them digitally in your Heirloom Vault will prepare you in major ways for organizing and storing the physical items that are now digitally preserved:
To Store vs. Display
It’s often hard to decide what to do with heirlooms. You want to enjoy them and keep them safe, but when they’re safely stored away, they’re easy to forget. With Heirloom Vault, your memories are just a click away – ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice, while preserved for the future.
Tell the story of your keepsake
While it may seem obvious to you what the story is with all of your heirlooms, it may not be for future generations. Remember to tell the story of every item you treasure, so that it won’t be lost in the future. (For a great example, check out The Pink Rose – This one’s a keeper).
And when it comes time to preserve the physical keepsakes in your possession, here’s a great list of 8 tips for preserving family heirlooms from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. While most of them are common sense, it’s a good reminder of best practices when handling what could potentially be precious family mementos and heirlooms. And who’s to say what’s precious? Just because an item doesn’t have monetary value doesn’t mean it isn’t priceless to you and your family members – even those who may not have been born yet.
- Handle every item with care. Use both hands while moving fragile items to prevent any damage.
- Wear nitrile gloves while handling photographs or negatives to prevent natural oils from transferring to the surface. Be sure to identify anyone in your photos on the back so future generations know who is pictured.
- Keep a clean working space free of food, liquid, and any obstructions that could cause documents to rip or crinkle.
- Avoid using adhesives that are not archival quality, like Elmer’s glue or Scotch tape. These adhesives will yellow and dry out over time.
- Remove all metal fasteners, such as paper clips and staples. These materials will rust and could permanently damage your documents. Try using a plastic fastener instead.
- Store your materials in properly sized containers (preferably in acid-free boxes and folders). Old books, diaries and albums should be stored flat.
- Arrange your family treasures in a way that makes sense to you, that will also be easy for future generations to access and use.
- Store your boxes and other family treasures in a cool, dry and dark place. Avoid basements, attics and direct sunlight.
Create a System & Edit Your Items
Heirloom Vault helps you organize by offering categories in which to place your heirlooms. This year we’ve introduced 3 new categories – “ready to gift,” “handcrafted,” and “clothing.”