Many people keep items in their home for their sentimental value but for some people it is hard to let go of these items when they need too, leading to clutter. It is important to remember there are strategies to decrease the sentimental clutter you have without purging your life of precious memories. See our strategies below!
1. Ask Yourself Why you are Keeping These Items:
Here are a few reasons Why People Keep items of sentimental Value:
- A loved one gave you the item(s)
- Your children created it
- It belonged to a deceased loved one
- It brings back fond memories of special events or people
- You made or bought it during a significant period in your life
After you identify why you are keeping an item it is important to remember that there is a point where keeping the item actually hurts your quality of life. It is still possible to limit the amount of items you keep while simultaneously maintaining the respect and joy for the memories associated with the items. When you find the answer to why you are holding onto an item you can better decide what you should and should not keep.
2. Learn to Let Go:
It is necessary to learn to let go of the emotion attached to the item. When a loved one passes, for example, you may hold onto numerous items that belonged to them or items they gave you in order to keep them close to your heart and on your mind. Though these are good intentions, it can actually be more harmful than beneficial to get emotionally attached to all of the items when you could just pick one item that you can take good care of to get emotionally attached to. It is possible to remember the individual or period of time without cluttering your house. You can let go of items without “letting go” the memory. Holding onto the past by not letting go of an item that is hurting your life is not healthy and may prevent you from living the way that you want to in the present.
3. Valuable Cleaning Strategies to Help you Part with Excess Items:
- Ask if the Item is Practical: When cleaning take time to evaluate if the item is practical or if it is just taking up space. Take your time when going through this process so you can really evaluate if something is a well taken care of keepsake or making your living space less enjoyable.
- Discard Duplicates: Discard duplicates when it is not necessary to keep them. Rather than keep the entire collection choose your favorite piece or the one with the most precious memory and sell or give away the rest.
- Consider the Space Available: If your shelves are too full, it is time to take action and free up some space. Do you have space on the walls? Frame and hang up some of your favorite pictures rather than leave them forgotten in a dark box.
- Consider how long it has been since you looked at or used the item: If you have items that you forgot about until you came across them unintentionally than most likely that is not an item that you should keep. If you have forgotten about an item or are embarrassed to display the item, or have negative connotations with the item, most likely this is not an item that you should keep, it is time to let it go.
- Organize: Get creative! For the items you keep, organize and or display them in a neat, mature manner so that they are well taken care of and or useable and easy to access. Take artistic photographs of items you love but have no space for so you can decorate your home without cluttering it. Think of creative methods to keep the items in mind and on display without overcrowding your property.
Holding onto an overabundance of objects is not the best method to hold onto those feelings. If your collection has become too overwhelming for you to go through yourself, enlist some help. Friends and family can help go through items with you and share the memories while helping declutter your home. More extreme clutter cases can be handled by a professional company. At Address Our Mess we are able to help you clean up clutter. We understand and respect that this is an emotional process, and we are readily available to compassionately and efficiently work side-by-side with you in order to pick and choose items you want to keep and to remove items that you are ready to let go of.