Where Do You Store Your Treasures?

I store photographs and documents in a fire safe in hopes that if there was a fire, they would be safe, but from what I’ve read, it depends on how hot and how long the fire lasts whether even a fire safe can save them.

Other treasures I store in an antique trunk I stole received from my father years ago. He gave it to me to use because he didn’t have room for it, so I got it refinished because I was 25 (many people would say I should not have done that), and I’ve loved it ever since.

The furniture restorer followed the original look of the trunk–with the alternating light and dark oak stripes. It’s an antique dome-top steamer trunk that would have been used for travel.

antique trunk

The pictures inside are classic Victoriana.

Here are some close-ups.

So what do I store in my antique trunk?

I store holidays decorations, including Hanukkah decorations and my grandmother’s vintage glass Christmas decorations.

Where do you store your treasures?


Filed under #AmWriting, Family history, History, Nonfiction, Vintage American culture, Writing

66 responses to “Where Do You Store Your Treasures?

  1. We have an old steamer trunk but it’s not as unique as that one of yours. It’s a beauty.

  2. Awesome!! Mom has a steamer trunk as well that belonged to your mother’s fathers father – that make sense to you? Snorts with piggy laughter. We love it. XOXO – Bacon

  3. We have a trunk that my father-in-law made. Needs refinishing. I’m one of those folks that like it to look nice rather than worry about value. We keep memorabilia from my husband’s parents in it.

    • What a wonderful keepsake to have a trunk your FIL made! Yes, I like it to look nice, too. I’m not really into unrefinished antique furniture. If it’s too well loved, nah for me, haha. I also have 2 army footlockers to store stuff in. One was my dad’s and one belonged to my MIL, but I don’t know where she got it as she was Canadian and not in the army.

      • Maybe your MIL had some suitors!

      • I have a funny story about “antiques.” My husband’s sister has kept a lot of her mother’s furniture. I have always hated staying at their house because it’s all uncomfortable. I get backaches from the chairs and sofas. They recently moved to a retirement community and had to get rid of a lot of their stuff. I asked if she would miss all her antiques and she told me she hates antiques. She just kept them because they were “too good” to throw out. I am still shocked at that. I would have thrown them all out long ago!

  4. What a gorgeous trunk. That’s a treasure in and of itself!

  5. The trunk is beautiful, Luanne.
    I store important items in fire safe boxes…I have several.

  6. Beautiful trunk, Luanne. What a great place to store important keepsakes.

    • Thanks, Rudri! I love it. If I hadn’t gotten the outside refinished, I don’t think I would enjoy it as much. I like it to look as it would have looked years ago to its original owner.

  7. Beautiful trunk! As for my treasures, one day I decided to put them in a “safe place” and have not seen them since.

    • Oy! That is such a distressing turn of events! Did you get a safety deposit box at the bank? Did you get a box that goes under the bed? Did you put them in a corner of the basement?

  8. Ohhhhh to have a truck like that!

  9. That trunk is absolutely awesome, Luanne! What a beautiful treasure it is on it’s own 😀 I have an old box that belonged to my great-great-grandmother with a picture of a bird on it and inlaid mother-of-pearl. It’s also got gold etchings on it and my mother always told me not to wipe the top too much or the gold will come off! 😉

    • Oh my, that sounds so beautiful. I’m sure she is right since gold is so soft. It’s really special to think that your box has been in your family for so many generations. Great-great is really something. Very few people have an heirloom from that long ago.

      • I also have my great-great-grandmother and grandfathers pictures on my wall in the RUC. (they were my grandmothers grandparents so I think I’ve got the ‘great-great’ right.) I’ll put them on my blog one day 😉

  10. The trunk reminds me of Saratoga Springs, NY (close to where I live). Everything is called “Saratoga Trunk” because when the rich vacationers of the 19th century used to come to the grand hotels for the season they brought many trunks to town. Ladies typically had at least 35 dresses made for “the season.” Hats, jewelry fans and shoes too! Love your trunk.

    • I love the idea of a Saratoga Trunk. Wait, what? 35 dresses? Are you sure? You mean the .01%? or what? Who could afford that many dresses? How many of these trunks would someone need for that? And I assume they would need bigger trunks that dresses could hang from too?

  11. That trunk is beautiful!
    (And isn’t trunk a funny word?) 🙂

    • Hahaha, yes, if anybody was going to notice that, I would hope it would be you, Merril! I think so, too, and I’ve been noticing all kinds of strange words lately. Words that are commonplace that suddenly look so strange to me. My daughter went to the University of Oklahoma, and all of a sudden I could not figure out how it could possibly be spelled like that. I mean, it looks ridiculous.

  12. Ian

    Wow the trunk and those pictures are incredible! I’m really not sure what I should do about storage. A part of my long-term plan is to digitize photos and other media in my genealogical collection as much as possible, especially since many of the letters and photos are already in rough shape.

    • Ian, when you start to digitize them, and you probably already know this, but be sure to scan them into .tif docs, not .jpg. Then you can make jpeg copies, but to prevent them deteriorating you need tiff copies. It all takes so.much.time. I’ve been working on it slowly for years, and it feels like I never get anywhere.

  13. My family used to have ornaments like that. But they all got smashed somehow. I thought they were beautiful.

    • Smashed all at the same time? Or smashed separately by different incidents? That must have been upsetting. I was so unhappy that daughter’s BF broke my favorite one, but then I remembered he was more important than the ornament ;).

  14. My grandmom had the same ornaments, how cool!

  15. Fascinating. Mine just lie about the place 🙂

  16. I have some really important things in a military trunk that has travelled the seas. Unfortunatley other things that are dear to me are protected by nothing more than Plastic containers. sigh.

  17. Oh shame-face. All my family memory stuff (what little there is) is stashed in file boxes in my office. I love your Christmas tree decorations; I’m sure we had some very similar when I was a kid but I have no idea what happened to them. I AM trying to take care of the tree decorations I’ve bought so they’ll be there for my son though!

    • Well, there is something to be said for not being encumbered by all this old stuff, Su! I can’t seem to help myself in hanging onto stuff, but sometimes I’d like to “travel” very light. I guess I have compensated lately by getting a really small lightweight purse so when I do out I can feel weightless and forget all the old stuff I’ve got squirrelled away at home.

      • Hehe. I think it’s more that my mother is a bit of a nomad and throws stuff out every time she moves. After a while, there just isn’t much left. I’ve been in my house so long I’m almost scared to move because it will take so long to sort through all the accumulated stuff.

        I have a sort of handbag cycle. They get larger and larger as I need to cram more stuff in; until I get fed up and buy a really small one. Then it’s not big enough, so I get a larger one, then a larger one …. and the cycle continues. I’m in backpack mode at present.

        Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  18. You are so lucky, Luanne! I have special items from my parents but they didn’t keep many antique ornaments. I actually study our three downtown antique shops, considering buying some of the ones they have inside, to feel like I have a part of those childhood memories. I have other things like an old creche where my grandma painted plaster of Paris parts of the manger scene. Skyler and I painted them again while he was 5 or 6 years old. Darker hair, no pink cheeks on a blond Jesus anymore. 🙂
    There are advantages of refinishing and I feel keeping the original colors and dark contrasted with light makes this still a beautiful antique trunk. The inside Victoriana prints are beautiful. I like the pretty details, Luanne. ♡

    • Robin, that sounds very special! I love that you repainted them. You are such a resourceful person! I know what you mean about the antique stores. An owner of one told me that it’s our generation trying to recreate their childhoods that keep them in business!

      • Well, that makes sense. Not just our generation, since my Mom felt she never had very many dolls, she spent time looking for dolls to collect and had three glass display cabinets to view and enjoy them. Your comment reminds me of the context conversation going on over on your recent post, Luanne! 🙂

        • That reminds me of something. There was a doll museum in Tucson and when the lady died her son put the collection in a back room of his antique store except for the less valuable dolls that he sold up front. Last thing I knew he was trying to sell the whole bunch together to a collector who could pay big bucks. He has some amazing pieces in that collection. Anyway, he told me that his mother spent any money she could get her hands on (and she was a single mom for a long time) on dolls and it was because she felt very deprived as she had no dolls as a child. I hope he was able to get what he wanted from the dolls and that it made a collector happy.

  19. Luanne that trunk is stunning and the old xmas decorations are beautiful. I don’t have many treasures but I do think about fires, especially at the moment in bush fire season. Its time to get all the documents in the one container for easy pick up if needed.

    • Fire is so scary. I too get scared of fires because although we live around a lot of houses, there have been fires here when especially dry because it is, after all, desert. One of those decorations that is no more was just like them, but was “hollowed” on one side with a little scene in it. Daughter’s BF broke it accidentally when he was hanging it last year :(. But that’s what happens. We gain a daughter’s boyfriend and lose an ornament haha.

  20. Wow, that trunk! I’m just…WOW! That’s so gorgeous, Luanne!
    And those vintage ornaments, oooh, aaah!
    I have a lot of heirlooms, and they’re in use. I did that whole konmari thing with my stuff last year, so I’m all about ‘if you love something, make a place for it.’
    My ornaments go in boxes in a bigger box, left in the garage 10+ months a year. I lost my cherished ornaments in the move of ’06 and have begun to recover. For some reason, a Christmas bauble from my great-grandmother made it, so I can’t mourn forever.

    • Oh wow, great-grandmother! That is something really special. Ugh, I don’t even think I want to know how you lost your ornaments . . . Yes, my trunk is right between my couch and the TV so we can see it all the time. I like to use my heirlooms, too, or at least displayed. What’s the point to just hang onto them? The only exception is documents and old photos. Those I want to save to pass on to future generations, especially to cousins’ kids. Ironically those are the very things that can be digitized.

  21. What an awesome trunk. (I “received” lots of stuff from my mom because she threw everything away; I told myself I was rescuing it, and I was probably right: I still have it and she wouldn’t have). Most of my treasures are scattered all over the house—my dad’s stuff and my childhood things are on a set of shelves I had made from the remnants of an old electrical spool; more of both on another set of shelves I had made from native Mississippi wood. I tend to display everything. If I have a fire, I’ll probably be like my Big Poppa—let everything burn up while I’m trying to stuff the grand piano through the front door.

    • I try to “rationalize” that way about ending up with a lot of family stuff. It is so true that the only reason “we” still have it is because I have taken care of it, but then I do feel like a big fat hog sometimes. I LOVE the image I’m getting of your displays and your shelves, etc. Beautiful!

  22. Pingback: A Truck to Remember | Writer Site

  23. I would love an old steamer trunk. My grandmother had one, all wood and leather, no idea what happened to it. I was amazed when I first moved to America at all the antiques friends of mine hankered after or owned, a lot of which I had grown up with but considered old junk: my mother’s pedal Swinger sewing machine a black cradle telephone, leather suitcases and such. All gone 🙁 So wonderful you have such treasures Luanne 🙂 xoxo

    • That’s why Americans love to go to England to check out the antiques! Hubby bought a piece of silver when we were there, and I bought an old etching of John Knox’s house when we were in Edinburgh (not England, I know haha).Your grandmother’s trunk sounds beautiful. Isn’t that odd how things disappear with the death of a relative and nobody knows where the item or items go?! Thanks, Sherri!!!

      • Yes, it is very odd. I also remember a baby grand piano and a grandfather clock…all gone. But I did inherit all my grandmother’s china, thanks to my mum, as dear Granny started giving away things to ‘friends’ at the end of her life. I have so many wonderful memories of having tea and meals with her using her china, I wanted to make sure it stayed in the family and we use it every Christmas in her honour 🙂

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