5 Things to Do Before Passing Down an Heirloom


1
Become A Preservationist

Preservation has moved way beyond preventing mothballs. So, whether you're planning to pass down a christening gown or share family photographs, get the facts about how to keep them as pristine as possible. After all, a hope chest rotting away in a damp basement isn't going to prompt an outpouring of special memories for anyone.

Besides moisture, direct sunlight is the biggest threat to your heirlooms. Everything -- from fabrics and papers to wooden furniture and photographs -- can be damaged by sunny conditions. Your best bet is some middle-of-the-road climate control. Avoiding too much heat or cold, as well as excess of dampness or dryness, can go a long way toward preserving keepsakes for posterity.

Speaking of future generations, don't feel like you have to save everything, a la packrat. Sometimes setting aside fewer items makes them more special. Plus, your kids will someday thank you for denying them what's become a too-oft rite of passage: Going through mom's things. And by "things," we mean all that junk you've stored away for "someday."

Related Articles

Sources

  • Minnesota Historical Society. "Preserve Your Family Treasures." MNHS.org. July 15, 2010.http://www.mnhs.org/people/mngg/stories/index.htm
  • Rinker, Harry. "Sell, Keep or Toss? How to Downsize a Home, Settle an Estate and Appraise Personal Property." House of Collectibles, Sept. 11, 2007.http://www.amazon.com/Sell-Keep-Toss-Downsize-Appraise/dp/0375722408/ref=pd_sim_b_3
  • Stum, Marlene. "Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?" University Extension Services, 1999.http://www.amazon.com/Who-Gets-Grandmas-Yellow-Plate/dp/1888440082

UP NEXT

10 Most Common Heirlooms

10 Most Common Heirlooms

Can you identify the 10 most common heirlooms? Learn about the 10 most common heirlooms at TLC Family.


More to Explore