We Need A Word For This. Maybe the Germans Have One

The estate process for my parents is finally coming to a close, and we must do a final cleanout of their residence in preparation for selling it.  I ended up with 6 boxes of stuff I shipped to my house that I would classify as "things I really don't want and will likely never look at or use but I can't bring myself to throw away."  My mom's faded wedding dress is in this category, for example.  I need a word for this kind of item.

Typically what happens with this stuff, at least in my case, is a sort of time-based triage process.  I will store it, let 5 years or so go by and at that point, having never accessed any of it, I will get rid of a portion.  My school textbooks steadily vanished in this manner.  Rinse and repeat until the problem with the hard core of assets we can't bring ourselves to shed is passed onto our kids.  Or until something is old enough to migrate from old junk to valuable antique.

I did find a pretty cool, large award certificate my grandfather won at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, which I think I will frame.


  1. marque2:

    1904 St Louis World's fair, was held next to the First US Olympics The 1904 St. Louis games. They were a disaster. I wonder if your grandfather saw those as well.

  2. David Pruett:

    It's called "Family History that maybe my kids will be interested in".

  3. Maximum Liberty:


  4. J Storrs Hall:


  5. rxc:

    Memorabilia. Family heirlooms. Give them to your kids.

  6. DaveK:

    An old wedding dress can be easily repurposed into (say) a Christmas Tree skirt, if you do those things. Other alternatives to the resale shop include, perhaps, a quilting project?

  7. ToddF:

    When I bugged out of the country, school books didn't make the cut. In the garbage they went. Mementos from older generations did. Such as the book of world history my great great grandmother gave my great grandmother. I'll never read it, as it's in pretty bad shape. But the endorsed binder is in perfect shape.

    "Cool s***" would be my term for this kind of stuff. Your mileage may vary.

  8. Snow Walker:


  9. John Moore:

    I am still getting almost daily mail for my father, who passed away four years ago. You don't die in the digital age.

  10. Robert:

    I'll suggest mathom

  11. Tom Murin:

    How about "familysam" (in the vein of flotsam and jetsam - I was in the navy and have an affinity for nautical terms).

  12. Kurt Droffe:


  13. slocum:

    For some things, I find taking a good photograph or two and then getting rid of the object itself isn't a bad solution.

  14. Gringo:

    My father got a letter summoning him to jury duty, four years after he died.

  15. Bobcat:

    Make sure he gets out and votes ... for Trump.

  16. mesaeconoguy:

    This is bizarre, but we have the official (I think) yearbook of the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair on our coffee table.