It was a beautiful cold day outside. I know it is cold when my outdoor thermometer says it is 4 degrees. I thought it might be broken but when it warmed up to 6 degrees I knew it was working as the temperature had changed.

This is the perfect kind of day to stay inside and bake cookies, read some tips on how to de-clutter, read a good book or watch a fascinating movie. As I was puttering around trying to decide what I wanted to do my friend called (I'll call her Amber) and she was a bit upset. Her mom had suggested something to her that made her a little worried about her mom. (She thought she might be having a premonition of something bad about to happen--she wasn't).

Several years ago Amber's grandmother died and her mother had inherited several of her beautiful things. She has a Laredo, a crystal cornucopia, and a mink coat she no longer wanted to store and was ready to part with these things. Her mother told Amber to come to her home and chose which item she wanted and then she would invite her sister's over to chose what they wanted.

Amber was horrified. She told her mom she would not come over and chose anything, that she was just to enjoy them and not give them away. I asked if her mother had them out and she said not all of them. The crystal cornucopia she had packed securely in a box in some out of the way place, the Laredo figurine she had in a curio cabinet and the coat she had never worn nor would she ever wear.

I told Amber I thought her mother was wise to part with pieces of memorabilia she had inherited. We often struggle with how to de-clutter our homes because we have things around us that we love and other things that we don't love but hold on to them because we "paid good money for them" or we inherited them or someone gave them to us. If we want to de-clutter our homes this is not a good reason for keeping them.

Here are 4 reasonable reasons for parting with inherited possessions:
1. Our home is cluttered with our own possessions and things of family or friends that we have inherited.
2. When there is too much stuff it is time for clutter clearing so the things we have beautify our home and light us up instead of being a burden on us.
3. When we have specific items we want to give to our families it is lovely to share with them so we can have the satisfaction of seeing them enjoy them while we can.
4. When you give away items to specific people you want to give them to, you have made the choice of who receives them rather than someone else making the choice for you later on.

One woman I know has labeled all of her valuable possessions with information about the item. She also included a photo of the item in case it becomes separated. She wants her family to enjoy things she has spent her life time collecting and knows her family will enjoy them more if they have the history of the item. A picture could be taken of each item and put in a book along with the story/history of that piece. I recommend this book be put with your other valuable pictures.

It is never too early to de-clutter our homes. We don't need to wait for some life altering event to get rid of clutter. Clutter doesn't have to be some old ratty broken thing. When we no longer enjoy dusting, moving or taking care of possessions it is a good time to think about reorganizing them which may include giving them to family members who will enjoy them.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Bohn is the owner of Get it Together Organizing, a business dedicated to developing practical organizing solutions that help individuals and business professionals live clutter-free and productive lives. She is the author of “Go Organize! Conquer Clutter in Three Simple Steps” and is an experienced, enthusiastic public speaker, a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and the author of hundreds of articles covering various organizing topics.

Marilyn takes the often stressful subject of organizing and breaks it down into a simple, easy to understand system. Her methods are both eye-opening and encouraging! She has a passion for helping others reach their personal goals and living a better, clutter-free life!

Marilyn offers personal, private consulting to assist in organizing and she invites you to sign up for free organizing tips at her website for easy organizing.