Today in the Decluttering Sentimental Items series I'm wrapping things up and sharing ways you can keep your home free from sentimental clutter in the future.
But first, let me say how proud I am of you for all the sentimental decluttering you've done this month! This series wasn't like some of my other decluttering series where you're decluttering a bit every day. This one was the tough stuff.
Some of you may have only tackled one area of sentimental clutter and it may have taken you most of the month. Others of you worked through several different types of sentimental clutter. But whether you decluttered a lot or a little... I'm really proud of you! And you should be proud of yourself. Give yourself a big ole' pat on the back and a celebratory high five!
I'm sure you feel lighter after letting go of some sentimental items that have been weighing you down. Hopefully you were also able to use, reuse, re-purpose, or display some items as well so you can give honour and respect to them and to the people and events these items remind you of.
Continuing to Declutter Sentimental Items
Most likely you weren't able to declutter each day's topic this month. That would have been a LOT of sentimental decluttering! But don't stop now that the month is over :)
If you've still got sentimental items to declutter, here are some tips to help you continue on your decluttering journey:
- Set yourself a decluttering goal. Based on how you did this month, set a goal for continuing to declutter your sentimental items. For example, if you decluttered 3 of the areas I discussed this month, then a good goal would be to declutter 1 area every 10 days (or 3 every month) moving forward. If you decluttered 4 categories this month then you can probably tackle 1 every week. If you focussed on 1 type of sentimental clutter this month, then work on 1 other type next month. You get the idea :) Some categories will take longer than others, but use this as a guide to setting your goal. Then plug your goal into your calendar or planner so you can work towards it.
- If you don't have too many sentimental items left to declutter, plan to revisit this series from time to time. You'll likely notice something different each time or be in a better place to declutter a certain type of sentimental clutter.
- If you found it challenging to declutter your sentimental items this month and mostly read the tips but didn't really declutter much, if anything, then pick one category. Just one. And re-read the post on that sentimental item. If you still really can't let go of anything from that category, focus on ways you can use, reuse, repurpose, or display those sentimental items.
There's one resource I didn't mention earlier in this series that you may find helpful: meaningfuls.com. They create a variety of things from your sentimental items. They can even customize a project depending on what you have and what you're looking for.
Maintaining a Sentimental-Clutter-Free Home
After all the work you've done decluttering sentimental items, you don't want to end up with more sentimental clutter taking over your home. Here are a few tips to help you keep your sentimental clutter from becoming overwhelming:
- If you created a memory bin this month, make sure you stick to it. If you have more sentimental items to add to your memory bin, you can keep adding them until it's full. Then, you have to let go of some things before you can add more. Don't just start a new bin. Stick with what you decided upon. Especially if you have limited space or a memory bin for each member of the family. If you keep adding a bin when one is full, your memory bins will get overwhelming.
- Limit your collections moving forward. For example, when you go on vacation, keep postcards but not keychains, magnets, hats, and brochures. Or for hobbies, choose only 1 or 2 that you will focus on and keep the items required for those hobbies, but if you start a new hobby or activity, let go of the items used in a previous hobby.
- If you established a way of displaying sentimental items this month, make sure you maintain that system. For example if you created a shadow frame for ticket stubs, then keep adding to it when you go to concerts or events and don't toss those stubs in a drawer where they will become clutter that you have to deal with later.
- If you have parents who are downsizing, be very careful that you don't take too many items from them. It can be very tempting, because so many items are sentimental because they came from their home. But unless you are just setting up your own home, you likely don't need very much and everything you bring into your home from theirs will contribute to the overall amount of "stuff" in your home... which usually makes it feel cluttered. Focus on items that are useful (just make sure you follow the one-in-one-out rule and give away your former items!) or that you can display without making your home feel cluttered. Also, make sure you get the stories behind items so you can continue the memories.
More Tips From Professional Organizers
I tried throughout this series to give helpful tips, without repeating myself too much. But I thought to wrap-up this series you might like to hear a few other voices as well. So here are some tips from some fellow professional organizers on decluttering sentimental items (some of them might overlap with ideas I've shared but sometimes the pictures or tips will resonate differently when someone else shares them):
Don't Start Your Decluttering Journey With Sentimental Items
As I've been saying all series, if you have "regular" (non-sentimental) clutter in your home, it's better to deal with that first and set aside your sentimental clutter until your home is less cluttered. Decluttering your everyday items will likely make more of an impact on your daily life than sentimental decluttering will. And sentimental items are generally more difficult to tackle so it's better to build up to them.
Whether you're decluttering sentimental items or general clutter, join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group! You'll find lots of encouragement, motivation, and tips as we all declutter our homes and lives together. You can find more details about the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge here too.
For More Decluttering Sentimental Items Tips
Want more tips? Check these the 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series!
Or the Decluttering From A to Z series from last October!
If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.
Tell me about your experience during this series! Which tip helped you the most? Which type of sentimental clutter did you find easiest to let go of? Which type was most challenging?
What are your goals for continuing to decluttering sentimental items? How are you going to maintain a sentimental-clutter-free home?
Please share pictures of your sentimental declutering on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems so you can inspire all of us to declutter our sentimental items!
If you've got a picture of how you displayed or re-purposed sentimental items, please share it in the comments or on one of the series' social media posts. I'd love to see how you are giving honour and respect to your sentimental items!
Once again, I'm really proud of all your hard work during this series! I've been reading your stories and seeing your pictures and I'm so glad to have been part of your decluttering journey :) Keep up the great work!
Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!
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