How To Let Go of Sentimental Items
Clutter can accumulate for any number of reasons. Perhaps you don’t have time to tidy your home every week. Or your kids’ homework, sports clothes and shoes end up scattered throughout the house.
More often than not clutter builds up because we have trouble letting go.
Sentimental items — objects given to you by older family members, old yearbooks or your children’s art projects — are the toughest things to get rid of.
First-time parents often hold on to every photo, every note, every drawing from school. They want to keep and treasure every memory of their kids’ childhoods. Though each of these items may hold some sentimental value, there’s little reason to keep every single one. Instead, it’s best to choose which of the items mean the most to you and store those while getting rid of the others.
Here are a few tips on how to organize a few of the common sentimental items families often hold on to.
Rather than keep each drawing, take a photo. Spend a Saturday afternoon cataloging your kids’ art projects and store and organize your digital photos using photo storage software on your computer. In the future, when your child brings home a new drawing or painting, take a photo of them with their art. There’s no better way to see how your child grows and develops his or her talents.
Some parents don’t want to get rid of any photos — no matter how blurry or poorly captured the pictures are. Instead of keeping physical prints of all your photographs, choose the best ones and store them in a photo album or scrapbook. If you like to journal notes to go along with your pictures, be sure to choose a photo album with room for writing. As an alternative, design a family scrapbook for your living room coffee table.
Not every heirloom passed from generation to generation carries enough sentimental value to be kept forever. In fact, many heirlooms are damaged or unwanted. Still, most people struggle to throw away Grandmother’s china — even if it is chipped and stained. Rather than keeping the entire set of china, which takes lots of room to store, choose one place setting or cup and saucer to keep. Purchase a shadow box and display your chosen object with a photo of your Grandmother (or whoever originally owned the item). The new display allows you to honor your family’s heirloom without sacrificing precious storage space. Plus, you’ll have new art with which to decorate your home.
If you find yourself holding on to items you’d rather not keep, but feel guilty throwing them away, remember that letting an item go doesn’t mean you care for your loved one any less.
Next time you declutter and organize, review everything you own. When you see an item that is damaged or unwanted, consider letting it go. If you wouldn’t grab it in a fire, you can probably live without it.
If you and your family consistently struggle with clutter and can’t bring yourself to let things go, seek a professional organizer. They will help you sort your belongings and work through the emotions attached to each item.
A life-time is not what’s between the moments of birth and death. A life-time is one moment between my two little breaths. The present, the here, the now, that’s all the life I get. I live each moment in full, in kindness, in peace, without regret.