Wednesday, April 29, 2009



in my museum-world-circles deaccessioning - "the process of disposing, selling, or trading of objects from a collection" - is often a subject of conversation/debate. especially surrounding estate work. one wants to be sure that a gift to a specific institution is not put up for sale at a later date. clauses are formed and contracts are signed. but there is finite space. museum collections grow - but more often than not, storage and gallery walls, do not. something has to go.

our personal collection - of not just art, but stuff - seems to be at a peak. our walls and storage are full. our mid-century modern-carport-instead-of-garage-and-no-attic-to-speak-of is at capacity. i am trying to deaccession.

i am sentimental. i am sure that is what took me to museum work in the first place.

the kids' stuff is a big issue too. souvenirs that haven't been looked at in years all of a sudden are more precious than life when spotted in the donation box. do you have your kids participate in weeding through their things. or do you do it on the sly?

what is your strategy for letting go?


BunkleLife said...

augh - going through this process myself with my childhood stuff at my mum's place right now. Strangely hard to do - and why is it I can't throw away something I have neither seen nor thought about in 30 years? Sigh.
I did manage to get rid of one-legged, no-head Malibu Barbie though - and her companion no-hands Ken.

Good luck with it!

LobotoME said...

continually working on this - its amazing how much one family can accumulate...we have 3 bins in the garage- one to donate, one to pass/hand down to friends with younger kids and one to sell on ebay/craigslist...

j :)

amy h said...

I'm a big fan of the delayed purge. Put the stuff in a box with an expiration date. If no one has gone looking for the things inside by the expiration date, take the box to donate without even peeking inside. My kids are at the age that I can do things without their knowledge, but I can imagine that gets harder as they get older.

laeroport said...

We recently culled our picture books stash that no one has read in MONTHS. My kids went through them all with me. We have a big box of keepers, but we also have a nice selection to hand down to cousins and to take to the used book store to sell. They especially liked the idea of making some money.

On to the toys and garage sale season!

melissa f. said...

giving things away that you love to people you know will also love them (maybe even more) is the only way i've been able to let go of stuff. and you know we've got some stuff.