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DEAR ABBY: With the passing of our parents, as well as childless aunts and uncles, my husband and I have accumulated many special items such as an old family Bible, military memorabilia, photos of pets, etc.

Our departed dear ones are missed and loved, but we don't know what to do with a lot of these things. It feels disrespectful not to keep them. Have you any suggestions on how we can relieve the clutter as well as the guilt -- and feel OK about it? -- CLUTTERED BUT CARING IN WASHINGTON

DEAR CLUTTERED BUT CARING: Although you have been blessed to be the repository of so many family keepsakes, sometimes an overabundance of "things" can become a burden. When that happens, it's time to take stock and share some of the items with others who can appreciate them.

The Bible and photos should be offered to your state historical society. The military memorabilia could prove to be valuable if you have it appraised by someone who deals in it. The rest could be placed for sale in a consignment store or thrift shop.

Please don't feel guilty about it. It's actually an act of generosity.

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