Linda reflects on organizing sentimental items.
The Brave Little Toaster movie is responsible for you having a job,” said my 27 year old son. First, I think WHAT? Then I read the comments on a facebook post.
“I had a huge obsession with saving all kinds of junk after watching the movie…
I was a complete pack rat! I was convinced that something like a piece of plastic might have life in it, and might even talk!”
“Totally used to be the same, LOL. Don’t throw it out, it has feelings!!”
“Yes, I got way out of hand”
For those of you not familiar with the movie, The Brave Little Toaster was released 30 years ago as an animated movie. A favorite among families it centered round five extremely likeable and cute talking household appliances; Toaster, Blanky (the electric blanket), Radio, Lampy (the goose-neck lamp), and Kirby (the vacuum cleaner). They miss Rob their owner and live in an abandoned cabin in the woods. One day they decide to reunite with Rob, so they set off on a dangerous trek through the forest to the city. They work together and make it to Rob’s apartment only to hear from Rob’s newer appliances that they are old and useless. They end up in a dumpster in which one would assume there would be no way out. Not going to spoil the ending, but let’s just say the appliances with their wonderful personalities are heroic and all is well that ends well.
As silly as it sounds the movie was a favorite in the 90’s. It was something the whole family would watch on movie night and by the end of the movie how could you not LOVE the “Brave Little Toaster”? He and his friends had to be alive, right?
OK, so clearly as adults we know that not to be true but how many of us still have a stuffed animal or blankie hidden in the closet from our childhood. That animal/blankie talks and understands us plus knows all our childhood secrets.
This leads us to the discussion of keepsakes and sentimental items. OK, we know they are not alive but still they have a special place in our heart. When on jobs our clients are confused about what to do with keepsakes. Maybe it is a stuffed animal, framed photos of grandparents, sentimental jewelry, artwork made by children, first cellphone, collection of theatre tickets, baseball cards, the list is endless.
First and foremost we want no regret. If an item may have sentimental value we will suggest finding a way to store it safely in your home. If it is too large to store, we may suggest taking a photo before letting it go. The key to storing keepsakes is to put like with like. For example, all sports collections together, toys together, jewelry together etc… Once you determine quantity you purchase appropriate size clear plastic bins to store the items. Clear is key so you can see what is inside, we want no barriers. Label the outside and store on a shelf in a remote location.
But what if you don’t want to keep all the items? If you believe things are of value, maybe take them to be appraised. Sterling silver, stamp collections, antique collectibles may have monetary value. A professional organizer can certainly help find dependable appraisers and suggest ways for you to sell your items.
Sometimes we think keepsakes will be valuable and are surprised when after appraisal they are not worth much. For example, this is common with silver plate and many baseball or comic book collections from the 90’s. If not of value then it maybe time to donate to a good charity like a local women’s shelter, veteran’s association, or rescue missions. Maybe these items can be used by someone or simply put a smile on another person’s face.
Getting back to the Brave Little Toaster below is a picture of “Dodo Snoopy, “
He lives in my closet in a clear bin. He is 54 years old and a special keepsake. Clearly he is not alive, although similar to the “Brave Little Toaster” he used to talk to me when I was a little girl. Can’t ever throw him out, he too has feelings, Hmmm…
Brave Little Toaster animated comedy released July 1987. Adapted from the novel “Brave Little Toaster: A Bedtime Story for Small Appliances” by Thomas M Disch.