Tell the story of your belongings
Snap a pic and write up a story about the items you treasure. My 85 year-old uncle calls himself the “Imelda Marcos” of golf shoes. I visited him last week and tried to convince my him to move in with us, or at least move nearer to family. He said he couldn’t move because he had too many “things” and he didn’t know what to do with them. I realized it’s not the belongings he can’t part with, it’s the memories. The stories need to be told. He brought out shoes and told me which brands were his favorites and which brands had fallen off in quality through the years. He told me stories about his french horns (he owns four). Stories about the art hanging on his walls. As we got talking I realized he really can’t part with any of these things until he’s told their story and why they matter to him.
One new company, StoryBarrow.com, has an app in the works that helps you do just that. It’s a simple idea and can be done in your free time. If you’re not a believer in the importance of storytelling, do it for estate planning or insurance purposes. With recorded pictures and stories, your life history continues on, regardless of your possessions’ final resting place.
So for #FamilyHistoryMonth consider telling the story of your belongings. If you’d like to help beta test the StoryBarrow app, select “Let me tell you what I need” on their homepage and fill out their survey. Just get the stories down because “why I own this belonging” is a better story than the oft untold “why these belongings owned me.”