More Strategies for Decluttering Sentimental Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 3} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: More Strategies for Decluttering Sentimental Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 3}

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Strategies for Decluttering Sentimental Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 3}




Today in the Decluttering Sentimental Items series I'm going to share a few more strategies to help you as you're actually physically going through your items.  Yesterday's strategies were general tips to keep in mind, but these will help you when you start the process of sorting through your special things.  Ready for more strategies for decluttering sentimental items?  Here we go!


Strategy 4: One Box at a Time


For any kind of decluttering project, it's often overwhelming to walk in a room and be faced with a ton of stuff.  It's hard to know where to start, and even when you do dig in, sometimes it feels like you're not really making much progress.

One strategy to help you feel less overwhelmed and actually see and feel your progress is to just do one box at a time.  It sounds simple, but it really works.  If you do a bit from this box and then a bit from that one and then a little from another, you'll end up with a whole bunch of open boxes but you won't really feel like you did anything.

The key is to take one box and ONLY work on that one.  If you finish it and want to keep going then you can work on another box.  But still only work on one.  If you don't finish a box you can just close it back up and start with it again the next time you're decluttering.

Over time, each of these boxes will add up.  And along the way, you'll feel like you're making progress.  You can see it.  You can feel it.  It's a good strategy :)


Strategy #5: Touch it Once


This strategy means you make a decision as you touch each item.  Decide if you want to keep it or let it go.  If you want to keep it, set it aside and keep sorting.  Later you can find ways to use it or display it.  If you want to let it go, then put it in a give away or donation box.  {Make sure you give away or donate your decluttered items as soon as possible so they aren't cluttering up your home... and you're not tempted to bring things back into your home.}

If you really can't decide whether you want to keep or let go of an item, you can make an "I'm not sure" box.  But use it sparingly.  Maybe you want to see a whole group of things at once and then decide at the end which ones you want to keep... that would be a good use of an "I'm not sure" box.

If you put too many things in your "I'm not sure" box, you'll just keep touching items over and over, going in circles, and never really getting anywhere.  This method is hard at first, but if you really work hard at making decisions, you'll see your progress.  And that will help you keep going :)


Strategy #6: Don't Go Too Far Down Memory Lane


This depends a bit on how many sentimental items you have and what your timeline is for going through them.  But if you have a lot to go through, try not to spend too long making each decision.  Otherwise the process will take you a LONG time and you'll likely get frustrated and give up before you finish.

It can be really tempting to spend time reminiscing over each object.  After all, they're filled with so many memories.  But not only will it take you a lot longer to go through your items, you'll also have a much harder time letting go of them.

It's hard, but keep your focus on the bigger picture.  You're decluttering your sentimental items so you can have more space in your home to really enjoy your life.  And remember, if you find ways to bring honour and respect to your treasures then you'll be able to reminisce over those items whenever you want!

You have to find your own balance with this.  There's no hard and fast rule.  If you find you're taking a lot longer than you'd like to and you're holding onto more than you'd intended, then be a little more ruthless with yourself.  If you can't do that, see if a friend can come and help you and tell them their only job is to keep you focused.  If you start telling them stories about everything you pull out of a box, then they need to remind you of your goals.  Gently but firmly :)


Don't Start Your Decluttering Journey With Sentimental Items


Just a quick reminder that 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.



Your turn!


Which of these strategies do you think will help you declutter your sentimental items the most?  Have you tried any of these strategies when decluttering (either for sentimental items or non-sentimental clutter)?  What tips can you share for those who are having trouble letting go of their sentimental items?

As you declutter your sentimental items, take pictures and share them on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems or in the comments, so you can inspire all of us to declutter our sentimental items!




Happy organizing decluttering!



Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!





I link up at these great parties - Check them out!

2 comments:

  1. I had to laugh about not going too far down memory lane! I can never get my oldest to clean out anything because she spends the entire day remembering. :)

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    1. It's harder for some people than others. My daughter is the same way when we sort out her school work. She tells stories about every single piece of paper and the process takes a LONG time. But she gets there... eventually. And is able to let go of the less special stuff, even with the memories associated with it. Maybe you could go through your oldest's things more frequently so there's less to remember at a time?

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I love hearing from my readers! This is a great place to ask questions, answer questions, and share your organizing tips. Thank you so much for commenting! I look forward to getting to know you better :)