This is a topic that so many people struggle with. So often we associate memories with objects, and somewhere along the way someone convinced us that if we get rid of these objects, we will rid ourselves of the memory associated with them as well…but that is definitely not the case.
I want to let you in on a secret. If you choose to let go of a sentimental item, the memory will still be ingrained within you.
Before we truly move forward with talking about how to declutter sentimental items, I want first to stop and acknowledge that no tip or trick will make this process easier for you. Letting go of sentimental things can be one of the most challenging things you encounter on your journey to minimalism. It is OKAY to have a difficult time with this task. Allow yourself to feel, but I want to encourage you to preserve on still. When you have fewer sentimental items you are able to truly value, use, and appreciate them more.
Decluttering Sentimental Items: Questions to Ask Yourself
Letting go of sentimental items can be incredibly difficult, but you must start somewhere. Decluttering these items are something to work towards overtime. As you begin your journey to declutter sentimental items, I want you to focus on answering some questions about each sentimental item you have in your home as you work on decluttering them.
- Did you want these items? Did you invite it into your house?
- Does it remind me of happy memories?
- What are you using your sentimental item for? Does it honor them?
- Could someone else love it more?
- Is the condition deteriorating as it is in storage?
5 Things to Remember in Order to Make Decluttering Sentimental Items Easy
1. Consider Re-purposing
Have you thought about re-purposing sentimental items into something useful? Let’s be honest, if you are going to keep an item you might as well find a way to use it or display it so you can properly enjoy it.
Keep Calm and Get Organized has an awesome array of ideas on their blog to help you creatively store or repurpose sentimental items.
2. Digitize Everything
I want to encourage you to take a photo of the item you are questioning and store it on an external drive with information about why you love it, or about the person who gave it to you. When you digitize these items, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to move forward.
There are companies who specialize in digitizing old photos for you, and my favorite photographer just took the courses necessary to help you with this task. Contact Emily for more information on how she can help you get all of your memories into a safe digital space.
3. Limit Space
Give yourself limited space to hold on to memories. For example, I have a tub that allows me to store the memories I find important. If the tub gets too full, I go back through it and subtract accordingly to store the memories I want to add.
This technique works well for me. You don’t have just to have a tub; it’s okay to have more than that. However, are the countless boxes in your attic and/or closets, allowing you to truly see and cherish the items you have? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no…Remember, your home is a living space for your present, not a storage space for your past.
4. Give Yourself Time
Be kind to yourself. Don’t plan to accomplish purging all sentimental items in one day. Going through sentimental items is emotionally taxing. Set a timer for an hour. Go through what you can during that time. Then try again for an hour the next day.
5. Understand that it’s okay to keep items in moderation.
Don’t feel like everything must go, because that is DEFINITELY NOT the message I am trying to send. What I am trying to encourage you to do is actually utilize and love the items you have, and rid yourself of the burden the rest have on your life.
I hope this blog helps you! I’d love to hear from you! Let me know how do you personally declutter sentimental items? Click: Here to shoot me a message!
May your daily goal not be to get more done, but to have less to do.