As the weather patters begin their change through most of the nation (fall leaves in their colors, cooler weather, etc.) many folks are taking advantage of this state of being to conduct what can be called as “fall cleaning”. As to its most known cousin, “spring cleaning”, fall cleaning is very much like the cleaning one does in the second part of the year: Move, arrange, or to get rid of their excess piles out of their households!
Over time and tide, people dwelling in where they live, be it a massive homestead or a small apartment unit, tend to accumulate an amount of what’s called “stuff”. This “stuff” consists of furnishings, clothing, appliances, and other objects that are either practical (dishes, lamps, tools, etc.) and things that don’t necessarily serve a functional purpose, but only exist become the owner of the goods made their desistion to keep them at bay.
This article will fill its focus on those non essential goods that these home dwellers stash away in closets, garages, attics, sheds, and places that are distant from the home in question, but remain part of the estate. These remote places are usually in the form of renting a storage space located not too far away for the home. Many of these storage space for hire places, such as the franchised Public Storage, Extra Space, and many others, both commercial and independent, become the temporary (sometime turned permanent) home of these goods. Big items that are stored away, such as furnishings, are kept as they exist, stashed away in a corner of the garage space. Smaller items, such as books, record albums and related media, as well as those ever loving chotchkies, are placed in numerous boxes and containers of various sizes, shapes, and materials, made of paper and/or plastic.
Before we get on the subject of fall cleaning, one may be asking “What they hey is a chotchkies, and why is this object a subject of importance?”  OK..that may not be the burning question for the moment since there are other worldly matters to be concerned about, but let’s just concentrate of the trivial stuff right now! It may not be the funnest subject to address at the moment (there is a major election happening next month–remember?), but at least collecting knickknacks isn’t as offensive as asking who is going to become king or queen of the USA next year!
The so-called Urban Dictionary gives the meaning of this word as “A small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose”. Granted, people that keep such items do so for various reasons. Some are obvious, while others are mystifying and rather unclear to those outside of the collector’s domain. These people that own, operate, and otherwise control these form of goods do so become they hold some form of value–monetary to emotional. The monetary side makes sense to the outsider. Rare coins, artwork, and first generation books can be items found in an archive, museum, or offered for sale through an auction house. The sentimental items are kept because they hold a place in the owner’s life. Holding on to a wedding dress, or latching on to Aunt Gloria’s collection of Joan Leslie memorabilia exist because it serves as a reminder of an event or person past. Many times, these same items can cross over toward monitory value aspects. (Although Joan Leslie memorabilia may not necessarily fetch a lot of money through the collector’s market, it does have value to those that house stuff depicting 1940’s Hollywood. Ditto for the wedding dress, depending on when it was created and its style!)
Sadly, much of the chotchkies people keep (hoard?) are in neither category. Keeping massive amounts of dishes and glassware that are basic can fall into this range. Older appliances that are rather common if not already outdated, can be ground into this fold. Mass produced soft and hardcover books are kept and remain unread. And the list is endless.
That is where the fall cleaning bit comes to mind. Although people have kept these items and goods for many weeks/months/years extending generations, there comes a time where these folks ask the magic question “What the hell am I doing with all of this stuff?”. From that point, they realize they must (or should) get the items together in some form or fashion.
This kind of episode isn’t as unusual as one may realize. Many of those domestic lifestyle magazines that tend to cater to a female demographic (Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Woman’s Day, etc.) have offered articles and related notes on how to keep one’s home base in order without the clutter and disorder one may face when it comes to storing all of the stuff the articles note.
When looking at these written advice from the experts, they tend to state the same solutions on keeping things free from mess. The best way to clean and to get everything in line is to sort of the stuff one wants to clean out, keeping what’s important (to the owner anyway), while the excess can be sold, given away, recycled, or just thrown in the trash!
One can do such cleaning one place at a time, and eventually moving up to a bigger and perhaps better location. The small places can be the “junk drawer” that nearly every kitchen has, while the bigger spaces can be a garage, attic, tool shed, or even an entire house! Before long, one will have a place to hang their hat while being clutter free. That is, until a few years later when more stuff is collected because of the now free space that was created when the older stuff was sold/donated/recycled/tossed out, and newer bits were added into the collection of goods, knickknacks, and chotchkies. And so it goes.
A bit of a disclaimer to confess to. Yours truly is guilty in keeping massive amount of goods stored in boxes and containers. What are these items? They are collections of media both still and moving, that were obtained through the many weeks, months, and years of gathering. These forms of media consists of photographic elements (prints, negatives, transparencies, etc.) of personal pictures (not mine, but from somebody else), as well as films and videotapes that depict family events and related matters, along with some material that consist of television programs and/or theatrical movies. These items that are kept are for my business. However, much of these goods rest inside of boxes that have yet to be looked at. Yours truly calls these piled of unseen material as the “purgatory pile”. The images have a form of potential while the rest is can be mildly amusing to downright “meh”! However, one only has some much time on their hands to look at them all in order to know just what to do with this stuff. Many other media archives this writer has visited over the years also keep their own versions of purgatory piles, so I’m not the only one!
In spite of this keeping of “junk”, it will still continue no matter what! However, there is a drawback. As the old joke goes, anything that is called junk is kept for many years and finally thrown out, only for the stuff tossed out being needed a week later!
That’s show biz!
If one treks on over to Hollywood (and the area this article speaks for is within a mile radios from the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Avenue), one will find a vast number of tourist attractions from the amusing to the downright tacky! However, among the selection of cheesy souvenir stands and tour bus offerings to see the homes of the “stars”, there is one place that stands out that focuses upon a method of human emotion, the emotion of a love connection that meant something to someone in the form of a object or series of objects that played a role in that relationship.
The Museum of Broken Relationship is a place there one can see artifacts, displayed  as rare precious antiquities, that came for common everyday people that were once part of a relationship donned by two individuals, along with a description of a backstory composed by the former owner on how the object(s) played a role in that once happy and content bonding. One will see such relics as wine bottles (filled and empty), articles of clothing, old love letters (some sent to the other, and a few that were never delivered), a collection of labels found on cans, bottles, and book covers written in the same style letter font (the former couple dedicated that specific font as “their” font), and many other trinkets that played as a reminder of a time where two people saw each other as companions, soul mates, lovers, spouses, and even “F” buddies. Although most of these things came from romantic based relationships, a number of these objects on display were once part of an affair that were based upon a fondness toward two people minus any sexual contact. And as the museum’s name implies, all of these relationships came to an end through breakup, divorce, change in personal tastes, or even death.
The museum’s physical place represents an upscale art gallery, meaning that all of the objects on display, as well as the entire attitude the facility suggests, is treated with utmost respect. It’s a time where one can sense the feeling of happiness and joy along with the perception of sadness and somberness toward two people–strangers really–that were once part of a meaningful relationship that came to its end by way of personal choice or through circumstance.
And yes, the museum itself does take donations from anyone who might have a collection of knickknacks of tchotchkes that were part of a relationship long gone. All entries are on display within an anonymous setting, meaning no names or IDs are to be found. The contributors, along with the relationships that are no more, are seen as ghosts.
The Museum of Broken Relationships is located at 6715 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, one block east of Highland Avenue. The museum of open seven days a week. For tickets, hours of operation, and information on how one may contribute an item for future display, visit the museum’s web site at http://www.Brokenships.la
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions


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