Sentimental Clutter

September 27th, 2016 by

Letting Go of Sentimental Items

sentimental clutterOld drawings and crafts from children who are now grown, past Hallmark cards from various celebrations, trinkets that belonged to a long passed relative, and other miscellaneous items are piling up within your home and collecting dust. Many people retain items due to their sentimental value. These items are associated with good times and figures that have passed in and out of the individual’s life, so there is an emotional connection to the item that brings back fond memories. There is a way to decrease the sentimental clutter without completely purging your life of these items and memories.

First, it is important to understand why people keep acquiring and maintaining these sentimental trinkets. Here are a few general reasons for sentimental clutter:

  • 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

Whatever the reasoning behind keeping that macaroni artwork or those concert ticket stubs, it is still possible to limit the amount of items while simultaneously maintaining the respect and joy for the memories associated with these knickknacks.

In order to begin, it is necessary to learn to let go. 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. Holding onto the past is not healthy and may prevent you from living in the present. It is possible to remember the individual or period in time without making them the sole focal point in your existence. It is not necessary to hold onto all or at least most of their possessions. You can let go of items without “letting go” of the memory.

Take a moment to review these valuable tips to help you part with excess items:

  • Take some time to evaluate if the item is practical or if it is just taking up space in your home and in your life. Chances are that collection of birthday cards since you were 8 years old is not going to serve you any purpose, nor will you even notice these cards often unless they begin to act as obstacles. Take your time when going through this process so you can really evaluate if you actually need the item or even want it anymore.
  • Discard duplicates. Did your favorite aunt give you a teddy bear every year for your birthday? There’s no need to keep the entire collection in order to preserve her memory, but rather keep your favorite bear or the one with the most precious memory associated with it.
  • 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.
  • How long has it been since you looked at or used the item? Have you forgotten about it until you randomly tripped over it one day? Are you embarrassed to display it or have negative connotations with the item? If the object is something you really don’t even regard, like, or remember its general existence, it is time to let it go.
  • Get creative! If you really must keep many of those childhood drawings, make an album to organize and display them in a neat, mature manner. 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 warm, fuzzy feelings. Let go of that safety blanket the items have turned into for you. 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. Address Our Mess is 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 are ready to go.

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