Do you feel nostalgic for your grandmother’s China?


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We all have some relics that take up space in our homes. Maybe it’s great-great-grandfather, or a box of old letters and photographs. Things often sit in the attic or in the back of the closet, waiting for us to figure out what to do with it.

Two do-it-yourselfers – “At home again with fords, “Premiere on HGTV on February 2 and”An older list with Matt Paxton“That started its second season on PBS earlier this month – it aims to tell us what to do with two very different reports.

Leanne Ford, an interior designer who starred in “Home Again” with her brother, Steve Ford, 43, a contractor, has little patience for all of these legacies. In a show about people renovating old family properties, he gives us permission to let them go.

“My theory about family inheritance is that our mothers give it to us because they don’t want it and don’t know what to do with it, and they keep passing it on,” Mrs. Ford, 39, said a telephone conversation with her brother. “You have to give permission to get rid of things that take up space.”

But on the Legacy List, which tracks homeowners shrink, Matt Paxton, 45, an expert on reducing emissions and a base on A&E’s Hoarders, is more accessible. If you don’t know what to do with that box of memorabilia in the attic, leave it there.

“Punt for the things you’re struggling with,” Mr. Paxton said. “One day life will force you to go through that box again and you will, and when the time comes.” (Reader, note: The hoarding expert has just given us permission to keep the mess.)

While both performances were conceived before the pandemic, they are broadcast at a time when many Americans are sorting their lives, either because of the loss, because the number of Covid-19 victims is approaching 400,000, or because they move. Nearly nine million people relocated between March and October 2020, he says message National Association of Realtors and Neighbors survey predicts that Americans will be even more mobile in 2021.

Even before the pandemic, “we saw this trend of people trying to leave larger cities and return home where they had more roots,” said Scott Feeley, president. Fun at noonwhich produced “Home Again”. “The pandemic has intensified this movement.”

“Home Again,” which replaces HGTV’s previous sibling show, “Restored by the Fords,” follows a different Pittsburgh family in each episode as they acquire a family homestead — their grandparents’ house, their orphanage, a family farm — and renovate.

Ms. Ford adds features with its distinctive appearance – modern, cozy and a bit rock n ‘roll – and updates the obsolete spaces for a new era. “There’s definitely a cathartic experience of transforming space into yours,” she said.

In one episode, with the help of her reluctant brother, Mrs. Ford hand-painted a checkerboard pattern on the old sage’s pine floors, bringing new life to the aging wood. She nodded at the pandemic and installed a sink in the mudroom so homeowners could wash their hands as they entered the house.

Mrs. Ford sees the show as a symbol of a larger movement. In uncertain times, Americans are looking for something familiar, and she is no exception. This summer, she and her husband and daughter moved back to Pittsburgh to buy a house built in 1900 on several acres, about 30 minutes from where she grew up.

“So many of my friends, we were all gone in New York and LA and we did our own thing when we realized, ‘Wait, we really don’t have to do this,’ ‘Mrs. Ford said.” There’s something very beautiful about being home. and be happy to be there. “

While “Home Again” focuses on the bones of the house, “Legacy List” considers its contents and rewards rats for saving the family treasure. In each episode, Mr. Paxton helps homeowners find things hidden in attics or basements so they can keep them.

“The things that matter are almost never financially valuable items,” said Mr. Paxton, who was trying to clean up his own house last year when he moved to a house in Atlanta that was half the size.

He said he underestimated the emotional tolls associated with spending lifelong sentimental items, but he also realized that it was wise to stick to the memory of his father, who died about 20 years ago. “Thank God I didn’t fire them 20 years ago,” he said. “I felt guilty for not firing them.” Now I can go through these things and share them with my sons. Now they are old enough to appreciate these things. “

He showed his three sons, all the artists, the paintings his father had created and hung two in his new house. He found and kept a comb, which his father wiped his bare head. But one item confused him. In a box of his own manuscript, Mr. Paxton, from 2001, the year his father died, found a colored stick wrapped in newspaper. “I think it meant a lot to me when I wrapped it up,” he said. “There were no notes.” I don’t know why I saved it. I have no memories of it. Sometimes you find a treasure and other times a wand. “He threw the stick.

For those of us who are reluctant to let our sentimental things go, the “Legacy List” gives us respite.

In one episode, Linda Crichlow White (71) and Eric White (70) prepare to sell a house in Washington, where they raised their children. Mr. Paxton helps the couple, both librarians, to sort through their collection of family photographs, letters, diaries, newspaper clippings, and documents that tell the intimate story of a Black family in America, but also offer a glimpse into Black American history from far back in 1898. contained a previously enslaved ancestor. Another showed the first integrated Coast Guard ship served by Mr. White’s father during World War II.

The pair’s collection is an example of historically relevant gems that may lurk. Mrs. White, President of the DC Chapter v African American Historical and Genealogical Society, amassed most of her collection when she vacated her cousin ‘s house in 2006, and has been organizing and collecting items from other relatives ever since. Over the years, she sought the help of organizers, historians, and archivists in finding homes for the memorial, eventually donating materials to Northeastern University, the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute, and National Museum of African American History and Culture and Washington, DC

“Be careful what you throw away,” Mrs. White said in a telephone interview. “You never know what might be of value on the road.”

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