Declutter sentimental items

sentimental item trophy

Sentimental items (freedigitalphotos.net lekkyjustdoit)

Declutter sentimental items

Sentimental items are those personal objects that remind us of times in our lives including past events, places we visited and people we were with.  They represent memories and we attach feelings to to them which can be both positive or negative. There are many reasons why we collect and keep these items, let’s face it, we’re emotional beings. I have a pine cone that I picked up during my first hike in California. My other sentimental items include old concert tee shirts, sound familiar?

As a Personal Professional Organizer I hear many stories from clients about these objects. Sometimes it is sharing those stories that allows the person to let it go. They realize that the memory is within them and not the object. Remember that sentimental items take up space and collect dust. As we age and want to downsize, travel more, and clean less these items may take on less importance.

stack of books

Declutter books (freedigitalphotos.net ddpavumba)

If you are at a point where you are downsizing or moving, you may be questioning what to keep and what to let go of, my first organizing tip is to assess and purge the easy things first. Sentimental items and photos tend to be more challenging so you might want to consider going through easier items such as:

  • Books, magazines, newspapers
  • Clothing, shoes
  • Formal dinnerware, cutlery and glasses
  • Unused kitchen items
  • Duplicate tools

What sentimental items are hardest for you to let go of?

Sentimental items | How to let go

Sentimental items may or may not be of real financial value but they are emotionally valuable. Avoid making the mistake of taking photos of all of your items before you let them go; you are just going to create digital clutter! Here are some helpful organizing tips that will help you to purge some sentimental items:

  • Items that are soiled, infested, or damaged beyond repair.
  • Duplicate items.
  • Items you never used, haven’t used in years, and have no intention of using. This includes items that have been in storage for years.
  • Sentimental clothing that doesn’t fit and will likely never fit.

Sentimental items that may be useful to others can be sold or donated. You can also repurpose items, for instance, use old tee shirts to make a quilt. I use old postcards and photos as bookmarks.