How to Declutter Sentimental Items
We’ve all been at this minimalist crossroad: “Do I keep this sentimental item?” Some things can tug at our heart strings and we just can’t part with it.
That’s okay and its normal!
You’re allowed to keep things, because they’re fulfilling another aspect in your life. Just because your grandma’s dishes aren’t washing the baseboards doesn’t mean it’s not a functional part of your life.
If you’re just starting your decluttering journey, take a peek at How to Start Decluttering & Live Minimally. This easy how-to will start you off on the right foot on how to start your journey or regain your focus. Easy to implement mindsets and motivation will have you decluttered in no time!
Are you looking for guidance in your minimalism journey, you're in the right place! Check out the Minimalism tag for all things minimalism related. Here you'll find every resource you need for your journey! These articles will help you start and continue your journey to your ideal minimalism that fits perfectly in your life.
Looking for even more tips on how to declutter and wrangle your stuff? I got you covered! Check out the Decluttering tag for everything you need to get control back over your home and beat the mess.
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It’s okay to keep things
Minimalism has been portrayed as a one-plate-one-glass per person type of lifestyle and it couldn’t be further from the truth!
Minimalism is just as much about keeping things as much as it is letting go of things. It’s about keeping things in your life that serve purpose and help your life be more fulfilling.
Don’t sacrifice your own happiness to fulfill someone else’s blueprint.
Needless to say, if you’re feeling forced to get rid of things, or are at the point in your journey where you feel the need to get rid of more but don’t know what… Listen: you’re allowed to keep things. Don’t use the same stick to measure your minimalism success.
Give yourself some time
If you’re struggling with should I keep this, should I not, then give yourself time. If you’re on the fence, there’s no need to regret getting rid of something when you could have just waited.
How many times have you thought about items that you could have kept but rushed to throw away? I know mine outweigh the things that I wish I got rid of.
With minimalism in a spotlight, there’s so much focus on a defined box everyone must fit in, but in truth, minimalism needs to work for you and your family. Hey, it’s your things, and your house. The root of minimalism comes from having functional items and living without excess. Your grandma’s plates are not as functional as a Swiss Army knife, but they are important to you. Don’t beat yourself up for keeping things that are deemed frivolous.
Give your decisions time to cook, like we talked about in How to Start Decluttering and Live Minimally. This is just as important when you’re on the fence about sentimental things.
When in doubt, back to basics on what to keep and what to part with.
Letting go so others can enjoy
If you’re just throwing your unwanted things in the trash, this guilt of getting rid of sentimental items may stem from just that. Knowing your sentimental items are ending up in a landfill may be the root of why you’re holding onto it.
“But if I get rid of it, it’ll just end up in the garbage!”
Donating your items to your local shelters or resell shops are a great start. Even offering heirlooms and other sentimental family items to others in your family is a great way to keep your sentimental items out of the landfill.
And, let’s be honest, let you sleep peacefully at night.
With any of your items, donation, reselling, or even gifting are great ways to keep the guilt at bay. Even for items that aren’t sentimental.
Take a picture
A picture is worth a thousand words! And it couldn't be more true for your sentimental item!
How many times have you looked back in your photo albums and saw something that gave you a really, really fond memory? For me, whenever I see pictures of my grandma’s house, I get that fuzzy, warm feeling. I remember the smell of the house, the texture of the “davenport,” everything: all from a picture.
The same can be true about the items you’re parting with. Take some pictures, look for pictures where that item made an appearance… Anything to help invoke a memory where it was apart of your life, and created a solid memory.
Anytime you are juggling to keep or let go of your sentimental items, remember why you’re parting with it.
Is it because it no longer fulfills you? Is it taking up too much space? Ask yourself “why” and sometimes you’ll be surprised by the answer.
Let’s chat about some of your sentimental items in the comments! What do you have in your home that is your treasured item?