My grandmother had a cedar chest in her bedroom. Although I was never allowed to go through it, I do know that it held her "nice things".
There was the fancy lingerie (the only thing I ever saw her use was a pretty pink bed jacket and nightgown while she was in her last days in the hospital). There were the bras with lace, and the colored panties and slips (she felt that all one needed was black and white lingerie). For the younger generation, slips were opaque items women wore under their dresses and skirts.
There were the pretty handkerchiefs bordered in lace, decorated with embroidery. Again to the younger generation, these precursed Kleenix. Every self-respecting woman had at least one in her purse, pocket or bosom.
In the middle were the quilt scraps she had pieced earlier in her life. She had planned to do a quilt for each grandchild, but never got around to it. Sam took the ones I got when she died and had a quilt made for me one Christmas. I treasure it because of her and because he knew how much I would like the gift.
Resting in the bottom of the cedar chest were the fancy pillowcases. Some were edged in lace, and Granny's crochet work . Some she embroidered. A few of them were yellowed with edge when we emptied the chest.
When she died at 88 of congestive heart failure, my aunts emptied the chese and divided its contents among Granny's children to rest in other chests or boxes lined with paper and mothballs. My mom had died earlier,
so Aunt Jean saw to it that I got some quilt scraps and handkerchiefs.
Although I do have some special things put away, I try not to save things like Granny did (I am so glad she did!). If I buy a pretty candle, I burn it. If I have a nice sheet set, I use it in my guest room. If I have a special set of dishes, I use them on special occasions. Because, you know what? TODAY is special, and I celebrate it.!