Organizing and decluttering possessions is a great way to reduce stress and improve the look of your home, along with many other benefits. But some things are more difficult to remove, such as the box of memorabilia tucked into a closet. Our professional organizers know that sentimental items can be the hardest to part with. We also understand that you don’t have to say goodbye to all of it. Here are suggestions for dealing with sentimental items while decluttering at home.
Why Sentimental Objects are Hard to Part With
A common fear among our clients is that tossing something that stirs up memories will somehow erase those recollections and the attached legacy. But those memories will not disappear when you let go of items that hold sentimental value. You will still remember the past, and those people, even without the memorabilia sitting in that box in the closet.
We’ve also heard people say that keeping their mementos is harmless. And that’s true if it were only one or two. Often, though, there are many small things, and when put together, they take up a lot of space. Your home becomes a storage space and holding onto numerous sentimental items can detract from their specialness.
You Don’t Have to Throw Everything Away
Let’s make that very clear. We are certainly not saying to toss all the memorabilia. Instead, we suggest:
Choose One Item per Event. Let’s say that you have five items from your college graduation in a box. We suggest choosing the one that means the most to you to symbolize the event, rather than keeping all five. This process pairs down the belongings while keeping a sentimental item per event.
Use the Item. Yes! You might be waiting for a special event to use the crystal wine glasses you received years ago from your grandmother. But what better way to honour her and her memory than by using those glasses often?
Donate to Help Others. For those keepsakes that you don’t use, think about whether it might mean more for someone else to use them rather than having them collect dust in your closet. If another person can love something the way you once did, or the way the person who gave it to you did, that can be comforting and special.
Take Photos. Consider taking photos of mementos and printing them to put into a keepsake book. Then, give away the physical objects. This way, you can look at them any time you want to reminisce, and the book takes up considerably less room than all the items.
Letting Go is Empowering
When you let go of excess items, you embrace a minimalist lifestyle. It can feel like a weight is lifted when an excessive number of items no longer surround you at home. Last of all, we want you to remember that the memories associated with the sentimental objects still exist in your heart.
If you’re not ready to give up something, we suggest putting it aside for a year. Then look at the item again and see if you’re ready to let it go at that point.
Our organizers offer support and suggestions for decluttering but never pressure you. If you are finding it difficult to organize the home, reach out to us today for a free consultation.