How To Declutter Sentimental Items
Decluttering is hard. It’s tough to sort through your stuff, say goodbye to many items, and find new strategies to organize the rest. And if you add some sentimental items to the equation… then your clutter problem gets even more challenging!
Of all the habits that cause people to hold on to clutter, an emotional attachment to items such as souvenirs, gifts, and inherited pieces from loved ones is probably the hardest to beat. But as difficult as it is to give up these items, you shouldn’t allow them to clutter your home. Whether your clutter consists of a house full of furniture, books, gifts, or tiny mementos, one thing’s for sure: it’s essential to get it under control.
Here are some decluttering solutions that will allow you to hold onto your precious memories while still streamlining and organizing the stuff in your house:
Be honest about what’s worth keeping
Gather your sentimental items and start by evaluating them. When doing so, ask yourself: What exactly am I sentimental about? Chances are it’s not the object itself but its association with a place, moment, or person. Remember that you can keep that memory without a physical object to remind you. However, if you truly love the item and have a strong attachment to it, it’s likely worth keeping it.
When in doubt, create a “maybe” box
Chances are, the answers won’t come to you instantly, and some items will be tricky to evaluate. A great way to give yourself time and space when decluttering these sorts of items is to do a trial decluttering. You can do it by creating a “maybe box.”
If you’re hesitating over an object, box it up and put it out of sight. Mark a date in your calendar to come back to the box. If you haven’t needed, wanted, or even thought about the items in that time, it probably means you should let them go.
Find new ways to preserve your sentimental items
Another great way to make sentimental decluttering less of a struggle? Find ways to give new life to old clutter. For example, if you’re holding onto an old piece of furniture – like a dresser – because it’s got too much sentimental value to sell, you can try to transform it into something smaller or with utility. You can, for instance, turn its old drawers into customized shelves. With a little imagination and a new coat of paint, you’ll be surprised to see how easily you can transform something unused into something new, exciting, and just as sentimental as ever.
Give these items to other family members
If you received a family heirloom, don’t feel obligated to keep it. What you consider clutter might be a relative’s treasure. So before you get rid of an item or stash it in storage, ask around to find out whether someone would like to have it. And if you don’t have anyone in the family who wants the items, consider gifting them to a local charity group or organization. It feels better to give sentimental items to someone who really wants them.
Let go of the guilt
Decluttering sentimental items can bring up a variety of feelings. And truth be told, many people often keep items not out of love or nostalgia, but guilt. Guilt is an entirely unhelpful emotion when it comes to decluttering and getting organized. You don’t have to feel guilty when evaluating and decluttering sentimental clutter. Instead, find it empowering to clean your space and prioritize what’s truly important in your life.
In short, when decluttering sentimental items, the goal doesn’t need to be getting rid of everything. It’s ok to keep some important items you feel attached to. The key is finding the balance between keeping the things that mean the most and getting rid of the clutter.
If you find this task too overwhelming, keep in mind that hiring a team of professional organizers might be a good choice. At ClutterBGone, we work with the best experts to help you achieve a clean, organized, and peaceful environment. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you want a customized plan to declutter your sentimental items!