What’s hiding in your closet?
Your grandma’s watch? Ticket stubs from a favorite concert? A macaroni necklace? Over the years your collections gradually grow and grow until eventually they are forgotten about, lost, or damaged.
Like many of us, it can be very difficult for you to let go of memorabilia that you have been storing for years because of the feelings attached to them. So before these precious items are lost forever, how do you decide what to keep and what to let go? Or maybe even more importantly, how are you going to store these items to ensure their preservation?
Let’s look at the macaroni necklace.
I have been lucky enough to have received two lovingly crafted macaroni necklaces over the years. When I look at them I see the unconditional love and the innocent wide eyed young faces of both of my now grown children.When they were young I wore the necklaces with pride. Over time they moved from my neck to my jewel box, from my jewel box to a drawer, and then from one drawer to another.
Every so often I would come across the necklaces and be flooded with the intense emotions. Oh how I cherished the memories they brought back! It felt so wonderful just holding the delicate macaroni necklaces in my hands. After the flood of memories would subside, back they would go into the drawer.
And then the unthinkable happened!
I had forgotten where they were stored and in a rush to clear some clutter I put a very heavy object in the same drawer. Months later, in yet again another brief attempt to get organized, I came across the necklace my daughter had made; completely crushed!
Except for one piece of precious pasta, the collection of colorful bobbles lay in fragments at the bottom of the drawer. How could I have been so neglectful with this irreplaceable gift that brought me reassurance of my child’s love and appreciation? Yes, I could replace the painted pasta myself but it would never be the same. After mentally beating myself up for hours, I had to collect the pieces and put this masterpiece in its regrettable final resting spot, the garbage!
Fortunately, my son’s gift was still intact. This necklace is not as colorful but it represents my son: always in a rush to complete a task and given with pride. Now more valuable than ever, it could not go back into a drawer to one day suffer the same fate.
Instead I had the macaroni necklace properly preserved in a custom picture frame that now hangs proudly on my wall. It is now in a safe spot, in sight, and a constant reminder of two macaroni necklaces that were so lovingly given to me.
A custom picture framer myself, I know first hand that custom picture framing, especially if done correctly, creatively and by a professional is not cheap. But when it comes to items we love and cherish, it is well worth the investment!
So next time you find yourself going through a forgotten stash of memorabilia, remember my macaroni necklace experience and ask yourself: Am I willing to invest the time and money to preserve and properly honor the feelings and memories this item creates for me?
If not, it is time to let it go.
If the answer is yes, then great! It should be preserved in a scrapbook, placed safely out on display or possibly as a framed piece on your wall. Storing it in another box or drawer is not the answer as eventually it will get misplaced or damaged. Make a commitment to preserve it within a specific time period or, better yet, act now before it becomes just another neglected macaroni necklace.
About Karen – A creative business owner who specializes in framing unusual items. When not transforming objects into framed masterpieces for clients, she indulges her sweet tooth with all things dark chocolate and unwinds with a good biography and a cappuccino.