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How to Artifct That Heirloom

January 14, 2023

Be Real and Try Not to Assume 

When it comes to family heirlooms, even setting aside family dynamics, we are inundated with media headlines telling us “No one wants it,” whether the “it” in question is artwork, china, jewelry, or furniture. Maybe. And that might hurt. But maybe not. Have you asked? Someone in the family might be interested for an entirely unexpected reason, like their own memory or history related to the object, or a special interest in it, or an idea on how to make it live on with a new use. 

Capturing the story behind an heirloom might be the best and final way to honor its family heritage and history and potentially find it a new home. Here are some interesting combinations we’ve seen at Artifcts: 

  • The baby bassinet + a photo of two generations of babies in it + the details on who owned it, why you have it, and what’s next (you hope) for the bassinet. Click the image below!
  • A photo of Dad in a suit + his cufflinks + an appraisal report + the story of that day he wore them and maybe even who gave them to him. 
  • Grandma’s front hall painting + a picture of the artist’s signature + her on video telling you where she and Grandpa bought it and why. Always remember the importance of gifting your loved ones a "why."

Old wicker cradle on Artifcts from Golden

 

Don’t Forget 

"In the future" is an optional field when you Artifct, but it’s a powerful one too (especially when then shared with your estate planner or uploaded to your digital will!). It can help see your wishes through and relieve the burden, guilt, and strife that could befall the next generation who is tasked to rehome it.  

Feeling torn whether to sell it or keep it? Maybe you need more information. After Artifcting, you can always click, “What’s it worth?” to get a free valuation from Heritage Auctions Appraisals. 

Small museums, historical foundations, and even professional archives may be interested and will in fact preserve them!  Here’s a useful starting point for help: The Society of American Archivists

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Have another tip or approach for heirlooms?  

Share on social media or write to us at Editor@Artifcts.com.  

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Artifct those Recipes

Creative Ways to Preserve and Share Recipes 

Food holds unique powers to remind us of special moments, regular table gatherings, travels to new places, and everything in between. Whether you are replicating a dish you fell in love with at a restaurant or a family favorite, Artifcts will preserve your recipes and make them so much easier to share and access from anywhere. 

Here are a few of our favorite combos of photos, video, and audio for memorable recipes: 

  • Photos of the cookbook + recipe page + making of + finished result + a video snippet of a critical step 
  • Photos of recipe card + heirloom cooking tools + old photo when the food was served + an audio recording about the importance of the recipe to you/your family 
  • Old apron + original tin + three recipes that always go with that tin 
  • Photo of the restaurant (or you at the restaurant, even better!) + the item on the menu or finished plate + your version + audio about the recipe's origins 

handwritten recipe for Peanut Butter Candy Cookies on an old sheet of paper

 
Click the image to check out the Artifcted recipe and the woman behind the recipe!
 
 

Don't Forget! 

Details matter, especially if you want happy people at the table. Let people know how many people it really serves, how you change ingredients or the measurements, and other tips to keep the magic of the recipe alive. 

And share it out with those who will enjoy the recipes as much as you, from foodies like you to family and friends and church groups.

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Have another tip or approach for recipes?  

Share on social media or write to us at Editor@Artifcts.com.  

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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15 Years in Storage. Now What?

"I said I would go through it someday. I know I don’t need it all. But there it sat for over 15 years while I paid for the storage. I couldn't even remember what was in storage, much less enjoy it.” That’s what one Arti Community member of the boomer generation told us recently. We know she is not alone. 

According to AARP magazine (April/May 2021) review of commercial storage trends, the older you are, the longer you keep items in storage. And, on average, boomers only visit their storage units once per month. How critical is that storage? How much cost and uncertainty does it create?

“Our family moved a lot over the span of 20 years, and I was in constant survival mode. There was no time to ponder what we kept and what we let go of much less the good stories to pass on,” said another Arti Community member.

He was trying to justify to himself why he and his partner kept moving the same ‘stuff’ from house to house, even if only to put back in storage in the next garage, closet, and attic. (And that eventually became a downsizing adventure of epic proportions. Read about it here.)

We have also heard from people who held onto items and expressed some version of, “Surely it will still be worth something, and I can sell it,” only to find it degraded over time in the hot attic, the style or material was no longer in vogue when recovered from the dusty bins, or some other reason meant that no, it was a lost cause. Think you're immune? 

How to Make the Most of the Money We Do Spend on Storage

Keep in mind, storage is not always at an offsite property where you pay a monthly fee. Want to talk about expensive storage, consider the climate controlled space you live in!

#1  KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU STORE

If nothing else, make a list or take pictures of the bulky and or valuable, to you, items. Better yet, Artifct what you store. Otherwise, you know what they say, ... out of sight, out of mind. 

When you create an Artifct for the items that go in, you can also affix a QR code to the box to help you easily recall what’s inside each box or bin when you scan the code in its storage location. Tag Artifcted items with two tags: one that's simply #Storage and a second that's the specific location, such as #attic, #fronthallcloset, or #storageunit. That way with a single click on any #storage tag you can easily review what you're storing, and second click #attic, and "Oh, yes, that's what's up there. Maybe it's time to come out and get used."  

If you're working with a professional moving and storage company, they'll usually create an inventory list for practical and insurance purposes. We encourage you to consider this the "if nothing else" bare minimum. You deserve more than an inventory of stuff.

#2  THINK AHEAD TO CAPTURE USEFUL DETAILS

Photos of the objects, for sure, but also a video snippet that gives a 360-degree view if an item is particularly special or valuable. Grab approximate dimensions and weight, too. This will help whether you need to move it again or decide to sell it. This is why if you ever meet up with an Artifcts team member in person, you'll catch us handing out pocket-sized tape measures.

#3  ASK BEFORE YOU STORE, THEN STORE, AND STORE SAFELY

We know it might be hard to let go of that piece of furniture that's been in your family for decades or even generations. Likewise, those bins of old papers and photos that you know tell your family's story. Oh, and the collections that snuck up on you and now when you see it all together brings back so many memories. Yes, all very tempting to store for someone someday to enjoy again.

  • If you Artifct it and share it, with one click you can ask someone if they want the item if you do not. No? Let it go to a new home.
  • If you elect to store it, and let's assume that space is climate controlled, please still think about what boxes and bins you are storing them in. So many of the popular bins will let of gasses ("off-gas" in archival terms) and ruin photos, film, and documents. And without proper care, textiles can also be a lost cause. You don't want to realize you lost the history and stored what's now trash. Use archival quality materials. Monocurate, and similar archival services, offers great tips and supplies. 

What's In Your Storage?

Don’t wait. Find out. Record it. Artifct it. And think about whether it still belongs! 

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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How to Artifct That Clothing

Do It, Before the Moths Get to It! 

The colors, textures, and patterns can take you back to a moment in time in a blink. Unless you’ve had clothing professionally preserved—same goes for other textiles, of course—these treasures are vulnerable to holes, fading, and other wear and tear. And the reality is that in many cases, they have an expiration date in terms of actually being used or usable because fashions change, we grow up, and sometimes our day-to-day lives require different attire.  

Whether you hold on to it, donate it, or otherwise rehome it, we have borrowed a few ideas from the Arti Community to help you Artifct those textiles: 

  • Honeymoon shoes + picture together + Dad’s voice telling their story 
  • Work photo + what you wore + the story of that day 
  • Ticket stub + that t-shirt you bought + original signed CD cover (gasp!) + a few fun details of why you love(d) that music group 
  • Pictures of a quilt + grandma telling you about her passion of quilting + note she sent you when she gave it to you + story of its place in your home and life 
  • Baby dress + photo of her wearing it + who gave it to her + why you’re still holding onto it 

Little girl dressed as Snow White talking to Disney employee dressed the same

 
Who wore it better? Click the image to see the twirl and the happy seamstress, aka Grandma.

Don’t Forget 

Textiles really are very vulnerable to their environments. And take up space. And for many carry feelings of guilt. It’s fine. Take this Artifcting moment just for you - remember what it means to you and decide on a better home if it’s not yours. 

What’s old could be new again. If you love the game, you can make good money in resale markets for textiles of all types. Start local. For designer items we love the work of Jussara Lee, NYC so you can keep and upcycle it or move it on. There are also big box national outlets—such as ThredUp, The RealReal, and even Etsy—if that’s better for you. 

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Have another tip or approach for clothing and textiles?  

Share on social media or write to us at Editor@Artifcts.com.  

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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