Strategies for Decluttering Sentimental Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 2} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Strategies for Decluttering Sentimental Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 2}
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Strategies for Decluttering Sentimental Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 2}




Are you pumped after reading yesterday's introduction to the Decluttering Sentimental Items series?  How about that video from the Minimalists to inspire you to declutter?

One thing I forgot to mention is that decluttering sentimental items doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything.  I'm all for having some special items in your home!  The key is not having so many sentimental items that they take over your home and your life.  So one of the things we'll be talking a lot about this month is not just choosing what to let go of, but choosing what to keep.

Today I'm going to share a few strategies to help you do that!


Strategy #1: Finding What Is Special


If you've been following me for any length of time, you know I'm a big fan of Peter Walsh.  He's actually one of the main reasons I became a professional organizer!  And that accent... love it... totally makes me want to declutter :)

Anyway, one of the most profound things I learned from watching Peter Walsh was this:  "If everything is important, then nothing is important."  Sometimes he said it this way:



Wow.  So true.

By their very definition, important or special things stand out from others.  They're better than the rest.

This is really important to remember when we're dealing with sentimental items.  Often we hang onto everything because we feel that it's ALL special.  It ALL reminds us of a special person.  It ALL brings back memories of a special event.

But because we keep so much, we really don't enjoy any of it.  It ends up in boxes or bins instead of enjoyed or appreciated.  That's no way to treat things that have so much meaning.

Throughout this series I'm going to encourage you to find the "treasures" in your sentimental clutter.  Those items that really are the MOST important.  The MOST special.  The MOST sentimental.  Once you've identified those, it will be easier to let go of the rest.

Here... watch Peter give an example.




Strategy #2: Use or Display Your Treasures


Once you've found which items are your treasures, look for ways to use those items or display them somewhere in your home.  This way you can remember the special person or event the item reminds you of.  This brings honour to the memories and people the items represent.

For example, one member of the 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group said she kept some special tea cups and saucers from the china set she inherited from her grandmother.  The set wasn't to her taste and she knew she wouldn't use it, but she kept 4 cups and saucers to have tea parties with her kids.  And then.... here's the key... she let go of the rest of the set.  She found her treasures, made it a point to use them, and decluttered the rest.  And how special are those tea parties with her kids drinking out of their great grandmother's tea cups?!

Here's another Peter Walsh video where he demonstrates how displaying sentimental items is better than having them buried in other clutter.




Strategy #3: Give Honour and Respect to Your Sentimental Items


Do you ever look at an item that you know has a story to it but you can't remember what it is?  Some stories get passed on from generation to generation.  By displaying your sentimental items you can keep the stories behind your things alive!  You can even start conversations with guests in your home about your special things.

By displaying or using your sentimental items instead of keeping them in a box or bin in the attic, you bring honour and respect to the items, people, and memories associated with them.

Here's one more Peter Walsh video, showing how we can remember the good times we shared with someone by displaying their treasured items.




Isn't that beautiful?  In this case it seems like it was after this family lost a child, but you could do this with any child's favourite items.  I'm going to do this for my son's first baseball glove that he wanted to keep even though he's been through several others since then.  You could do it with any other activity as well.

Shadow frames come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  Here's a link to several different options {affiliate link}.  Choose one that will work best for the items you want to display.  Search for shadow boxes on Pinterest and you'll find tons of great ideas you can use them for!

You can use regular frames {affiliate link} for flatter items as well.  Here's an example from a 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group member:




She framed these Cranberry items from her husband's family business. Her comment was, "Can't enjoy them if they are in a box somewhere. :)"

I love that!  It's part of their family heritage and brings honour and respect to her husband's family. It also adds a lovely decorative element to their home.  I bet it starts some great conversations too!


Your Turn!


Today I want you to think about ways you can find your treasures among your sentimental items. What makes something more special to you than something else?  Also consider how you can use or display your treasures.  How can you bring honour and respect to the people and events your sentimental items remind you of?

If you haven't yet, subscribe for posts from this series by email so you don't miss any of the tips.




Also, if you haven't done so yet, join the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge!

If you'd like to declutter your home, 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.






Do you have sentimental items you've been holding on to?  Are they treasures or clutter?  What makes it hard for you to let go of them? Is there a way you can use, display, or re-purpose your treasures?

If you use or display your sentimental items, take pictures and share them in the comments or on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems so you can inspire all of us to do the same with our sentimental items!

I'd love to see how you are giving honour and respect to your 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!

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for all those great tips, I plan to use some of them. We recently moved and I've been trying to declutter to the max.

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    1. Glad you found the tips helpful! Moving is a great time to declutter. Good luck!

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  2. I love strategy #2. I always try to make use of things in some way. I've seen some neat ideas to take old clothes from loved ones to make quilts or teddy bears.

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    1. Ooo... teddy bears! What a cute idea. I've seen quilts but I love the bear idea!

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  3. I love the shadowbox display idea. I am going to have to put that on the list of things to do with my girls so that they might be more willing to get rid of the less special!

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    1. It's amazing how displaying the most special things makes it easier to let go of the less special items Lara! I hope your girls like the shadowbox idea :)

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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 :)