If you haven’t read many of my blog posts you may have missed that our family moved this summer. We weren’t expecting to move, however, we are renting and an untrustworthy property management company encouraged us to look elsewhere. We’re thrilled with our new location so it all worked out for the best.
Still, moving is never easy and our kids had some nervousness. We had some extra expenses, the stress of packing and unpacking, and of course the physical demands moving requires.
We unpacked the majority of boxes pretty quickly. Moved our furniture into place into our new space (8th move here people), and I was pleasantly shocked to discover that we have WAY more closet space than I anticipated. We even took advantage of July 4th furniture sales and bought a sectional sofa much sooner than I anticipated we would.
Home Decor that Tells a Story
Once everything was in place, the exhaustion passed, and we’d lived in our new space for a few weeks it was time to pull out the bins with home decor. I’ve learned that if I do this too quickly I will move furniture and end up with extra nail holes in the walls.
We’ve lived in 4 different homes in the last seven years. This causes one to develop an aversion to holding onto anything that doesn’t have sentimental meaning.
Our sons are surrounded by generations of wedding photos. Their great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles from both sides of their family tree decorate our walls and bookshelves. A gallery of times together is also a favorite.
The art that hangs on our walls is a combination of new and old. Some wedding gifts handmade by talented family members, other pieces are newer and match our updated home decor. My favorite piece is John 3:16 written in Assyrian by my great-grandfather.
A handmade wooden tray and clock made by my great uncle with his handwritten note on the back also are items that I display in every home we inhabit.
We’ve also collected regional items from every town we’ve lived near. Unpacking is slow because each item has a story behind it, a reason for why it is worth paying to move.
The challenge with sentimental home decor is that I love every item and there isn’t always space to adequately display items. As our boys get older we continue to add family photos to our collection as well. There are only so many spaces for photos!
Another challenge is that many of the items I’ve saved are the same size. This is great for placing them individually, however, when decorating a mantle or grouping items together spaces often look cluttered rather than intentionally designed.
Finally, since I’ve inherited several of the most treasured items they are very fragile. This limits where I can safely display them. It also makes it harder to store items that I don’t space to for.
Why Sentimental Home Decor is Important to Me
I’ve already highlighted why many of the items I’ve kept. Our family tree is culturally diverse and it’s important our sons remember the totality of who they are and where our roots began. I made an intentional choice to surround our kids with photos of our family with the hope that on the rare occasions we were with extended family the boys would recognize faces. But there is a dual purpose. When we are apart from family, we can keep a small connection.
Since our kids have not lived near family for most of their lives I also wanted them to remember a little history about their relatives. We have many veterans in our family tree and we proudly display photos of family in uniform.
I’m also hopeful the art that hangs on our wall inspires our sons to pursue their talents and reminds them creativity runs in our family (even if their mom can’t paint to save her life).
We may not have the chance to spend time with extended family often, however, the intentional choice to prioritize sentimental home decor reminds us daily of the strong legacy that extends our family limbs.
This intentional choice means that it’s likely our home will always look less stylish than the decorating magazines. Some areas will look mismatched, and very few items will trade out seasonally. It’s a compromise I’m happy to make.