S is for Sentimental: The William Morris Rule

Sentimental: of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.

Short of time today, so… what am I sentimental about?

I’m very rarely sentimental about things just for their own sake. Someone said to me recently that you should hand nearly everything down in families because throwing someone’s possessions away is like throwing them away. I don’t agree. How long do you keep things for? How many generations are expected to keep this stuff as it grows into piles around them, cluttering up their lives and their homes long after the person they were owned by has faded from people’s memories decades ago?

File:Clutter in basement.jpg

No, things only have any sentimental value for me if they remind me of a time, place or person I care about. And I don’t believe we need to keep everything that belonged to a person to remember them; a few things that have a meaning for us, or a happy memory attached, are enough.

Not sad memories – things that make us sad should go. Life’s too short to put yourself through that kind of misery. If something reminds you only of a time you failed, lost someone, hurt somebody or made the wrong decision, then ditch it.

I’m sentimental about the letter-rack in my hallway because my Dad bought a plain one and varnished a cute picture he knew I would like on to the front. I’m sentimental about certain pieces of music because he loved them.

And I’m sentimental about a collection of small shoes and socks, the odd baby toy, photo, picture or simple story that I’ve tucked away as my children have grown up (and grown and grown until they’re taller than me). I’ve also got some photos and mementoes of holidays, and some cards that are special to me.

Other than that, I try to stick to the William Morris rule:

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Obviously I check my husband daily to make sure he still fits the criteria…








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