Tips for Decluttering Hand-Made Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 26} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Decluttering Hand-Made Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 26}

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tips for Decluttering Hand-Made Items {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 26}

Today in the Decluttering Sentimental Items series we're decluttering hand-made items. These can be gifts from friends, gifts from our kids, or things made by older generations.

Why hand-made items are hard to let go of 

Oh these ones are tough! Someone took the time to make the item for us, which makes it hard to let go of. We could feel guilty even thinking about decluttering a lot of hand-made items.

The good news is that some of these items aren't necessarily clutter.  Remember the definition of clutter? Anything you don't need, use, love, or have the space to store. If you use the quilt your grandma made for you, then it's not clutter. If you love the painting your uncle painted for you, then it's not clutter. 

Tips for letting go of hand-made items 

But, if you've got a hand-made item that you don't need, use, love, or have the space to store, then it is clutter. It's time to let go of the guilt that someone made the item and let it go.

Here are a few considerations to help you do that:

  • If the hand-made items you're considering are hand-made items from your kids, remember you can't keep every single thing your kids make for you... there's just not enough wall space or shelf space in a home for that. Pick your absolute favourites and let the rest go. You can take photos first if that helps make it easier.
  • For hand-made items from older family members, you can see if someone else in the family would like it. That usually helps alleviate the guilt a little. 
  • If you're only holding onto things just because of guilt, and they're contributing to the clutter in your home, consider that the person who made the item probably wouldn't want that for you. 
  • Also, having items stuffed away in a bin or collecting dust in a pile somewhere isn't honouring the person who made them. Keep those items where you can proudly display them, or give yourself permission to let them go.

Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display hand-made items 

If you have items you love but don't use... then technically they're not clutter but it would be better if you could find a way to use them or display them.

Here are some ideas of what you may be able to do with your hand-made items:

  • I've mentioned this frequently in this series, but you could create a shadow box {affiliate link} with some of your hand-made items :)  
  • You can take photos of your hand-made items and make a photo book out of your pictures.  You can even share it easily with other family members so you all can enjoy memories of the person who made these treasured items.  My dad's family did this.  One of his brothers was a great painter (as was their father).  His sister-in-law took pictures of all his paintings and sketches and created a beautiful photo book of them.  She even included some stories about his art.  It's a beautiful book!  And now the whole extended family can enjoy and remember his talent.  One of my cousins is trying to do the same thing with our grandfather's paintings (it's a little harder because they're spread throughout a very large family).  If you're interested in doing something similar, don't forget about the Keepy app {affiliate link}!  And they're offering From Overwhelmed To Organized readers a 20% discount until October 31, 2016!  Get the details in this post.

Here are a few ideas from members of the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group:

  • "I have started making collages to hang on the wall as a display of things I love but won't use. I figured at least it is not sitting in a box taking up space and it is decorating my wall. So far I have gathered items from my dads work life (you know the promotional items we have tons of- pen, ball, cap, belt buckle)."
  • "My mother's spoon collection is in a glass table where I don't have to dust it but can look at it when I want to."

I love what this 365'r did!  She framed one of her Nana's hand knitted doilies to enjoy and was able to let go of tons of others.

I love that she can see this hand-made item every day, and that she felt she could then let go of the rest of the doilies. What a great way to give honour and respect to her grandma and remember her every day!

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!

What hand-made items are you having a hard time letting go of? If you've decluttered a hand-made item, what helped you make that decision? What tips can you share for someone else who is struggling with decluttering hand-made items?

As you declutter your hand-made items, take pictures and share them 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 your hand-made 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!

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!