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Faimily Heirlooms

When I was married, my mother gave us a beautiful silver set that was passed down from her mother. It is a five piece set including: coffee, tea, sugar, cream and platter.

Since it is real (well I assume plated) silver, it tarnishes over time. So whenever people were coming over for holidays I’ve always spent thirty minutes polishing the set.

I have had the set over ten years and it has never been used. Ever!

If this was any other item in my house, it would be given away or at Goodwill by now. But it isn’t just any other item in my house, its an item with a lot of memories and history associated with it. These are the hardest items to eliminate from my life. Not just because the nostalgia associated with it, but also because my mother is sure to miss it the next time she visits my house.

So I have decided that when I visit my siblings this year for Christmas I will “honor” the items by gifting one of them the set. This way it is still in the family but out of my house.

I know that adding items to someone else’s house that will rarely be used is not really the Minimalist’s Way. But right now I am working on my life and will gladly assist them later if my Christmas gift changes their way of thinking about household items.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • B. Lyles December 15, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Nice idea.

  • Gwen Wells December 16, 2010, 7:25 pm

    Marc – if you put silver (sterling or plate) in a sealed zip-top bag while you store it, it reduces the tarnish significantly. This holds true for silver jewelry as well. May still have to polish a bit, but no where near what it would be if it just oxidized out in the air. If the pieces are large, you can get the really large zip-top bags online or at places like the Container Store. I think Target may even have them.

    • Marc Morgan December 17, 2010, 7:34 pm

      Thank you Gwen. I’ll clean them up and send them off to their new home in some monster ziplocks.

  • Christa Hill January 18, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I have a set of “good” silverware being stored in my attic right now that was passed down from my husband’s grandmother. It has our last initial monogrammed in it. I will NEVER use it, but like you don’t know what to do. My other bro in law is a natural minimalist, and he will never take it.

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