Saying Goodbye To Sentimental Clutter

Sentimental items are physical souvenirs of memories or people that often create a certain nostalgia for the past. This makes it difficult to let go of our treasured trinkets or possessions shrouded in memorable moments because they have such a high sentimental value and preserve our past. But what happens when the items we are so fond of become cluttered and neglected? Sentimental items should be lovingly looked after, put on show or useful. They should not be a burden that we keep because we feel guilty of getting rid of them. Letting go of sentimental things is not easy and requires a certain amount of soul searching to be able to become comfortable with getting rid of something that is apart of your past. We have compiled an easy guide to help you get through this difficult task. 

1. Decide if you are going to give it the attention it deserves

This is especially true for old items that need to be stored and maintained properly. These could be pieces that you have inherited like old artworks, jewellery or furniture. If they are being neglected in a storage unit somewhere or ditched in your garage then maybe it's time to pass it on to someone who will appreciate and use it. This doesn't mean giving them away, highly valuable pieces can be sold at auctions or to museums who will showcase and look after them. 

2. Let go of your guilt 

Stop guilt-tripping yourself into holding onto certain belongings because you feel like you have to. We advocate Marie Kondo's decluttering technique of only holding onto items that spark joy in our lives. If it doesn't bring you joy then why not consider giving it to someone who will appreciate it. Donating to a charity is a win-win situation because they benefit from the donation and you get to feel good about letting go and helping others. 

3. Keep your meaningful items organised and the size of your collection reasonable

Find creative ways to showcase your collection. Your collection is something you are passionate about and proud of so why not show it off? For the sentimental things that you do still love and cherish then keep them organised and stored happily. High quality storage products are a must. 

4. Remember memories aren't our things - our memories are inside us

We as people are naturally social beings that have a strong attachment to people and that can often spills over to things. There was a terrific article written by The Minimalists called Letting Go Of Sentimental Items and we think this excerpt excellently sums up our feelings toward sentimental items. 

'I am not my stuff; we are more than our possessions.
Our memories are within us, not within our things.
Holding on to stuff imprisons us; letting go is freeing.'

5. Make room for new memories

If you consider the fact that you will spend many more years collecting physical memories in the future then letting go of not-so-special possessions in the present may not seem as hard. Let go when you are ready and embrace more space for new memories.

6. How to look after meaningful items - a few examples 

  • Photographs

If you have stacks of old albums or photographs taking up lots of valuable space and becoming worn and faded then why not consider scanning them digitally and uploading to a cloud storage system.  

  • Important old documents

If you don't need the original documents then you could consider scanning them otherwise a good filing system with plastic folders to preserve the paper will ensure that the documents are organised and looked after.  

  • Kids reports or artwork 

Create a digital scrapbook of all your kids prized artwork, reports or projects by taking photographs of them. Keep the best artworks, frame and showcase. 

  • Inherited items, souvenirs or family heirlooms

Keep the best, store and organise the rest properly. 

  • Wedding stuff

Preserved bouquets, wedding cards or your wedding dress can take up space and collect mounds of dust. Consider creating a wedding memory book that contains a piece of each thing that meant something to you like a piece of fabric from your dress.