Home » Declutter Your Life » 5 top tips to letting go of sentimental items

5 top tips to letting go of sentimental items

Love letters - keep or toss?

I was watching a fabulous show on Foxtel last night called Real Simple, Real Life (based on my favourite magazine Real Simple in the States). They were going through a woman’s treasure chest (it literally was a chest) helping her to sort through all her sentimental items from the past 50 years. It really got me thinking – why do we have so many emotions tied to “things”?

I love another blog called Small Notebook and what they said on this topic really resonated with me.

When it comes to keeping sentimental things, the fewer things you keep, the more special they are. The opposite is also true. Too many sentimental things become less loved and more burdensome.

Keepsakes are meant to give an inspiring glimpse and momentary remembrance of the past.  They aren’t meant to be a full historical archive that will consume someone’s current life.

If you need to lighten up your sentimental keepsakes, follow these important tips:

Keep: love letters your husband wrote when you were dating
Don’t keep: cards and letters from former boyfriends

Keep: an invitation from your wedding
Don’t keep: the paper napkins and matchbooks embossed with your name

Keep: your baby’s hospital hat and bracelet
Don’t keep: your baby’s stroller and car seat

Keep: a photo of your 3rd grade softball team
Don’t keep: all the trophies and medals you won (or take the award plates off)

Keep: a special birthday card from your grandma
Don’t keep: every birthday card from your grandma

It’s hard to let go of sentimental items, believe me, I know. But do we really need all of them?

To read more go to: http://smallnotebook.org/2008/09/22/holding-on-to-sentimental-things/

6 thoughts on “5 top tips to letting go of sentimental items

  1. I watched that program too! I’m happy that I am a little bit of a perfectionist so I don’t keep a lot of things. I know that anything of importance is in my heart and soul. I like your suggestion to keep some of this items, but not the matchbooks! There are people that don’t throw anything away and that is the other program about hording.

    • Yes Lynn, hoarding is a totally different ball game altogether. We work in tandem with psychologists for those types of clients and the process can take many years! I find it very hard to watch that show, it is heartbreaking.

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  3. Great tips. I have a friend who takes pictures of all the kids stuff and then throws them away. I’m not at that stage to get rid of all, but I do take pictures of craft stuff the kids make then throw them away.

    I scan a lot of documents into my computer then shred that way I’m not having huge piles of paper filed here or there.

    • Hi Leona, taking pictures is a great idea – you still get to keep the memories and the emotions of the items, without having the clutter. Great work on the scanning the documents too, paperwork is the No.1 clutter problem I have found!

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