Tips for Decluttering Items From Hobbies You No Longer Do {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 20} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Decluttering Items From Hobbies You No Longer Do {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 20}

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tips for Decluttering Items From Hobbies You No Longer Do {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 20}

Today in the decluttering sentimental items series we're decluttering items related to hobbies we no longer do. Could be craft supplies, sporting equipment, fishing gear, gardening supplies, movie or music posters, or any other items you enjoyed in your spare time, but don't any more.

Why items from former hobbies are hard to let go of 

Sometimes it's hard to let go of things we used a lot in our past, because we don't want to admit that we're not really doing those things that we enjoyed any more.  Our lives have changed for some reason (career, kids, illness, age, etc.) and it's hard to let go of things that remind us of what we used to enjoy doing.  Or maybe we hope we'll get back to doing our hobbies again in the future.  Or perhaps we enjoyed that hobby with a special person who is no longer with us, so letting go of the hobby (and the materials associated with it) feels like we're letting go of the person.

Whatever the reasons, it can be hard to let go of things that brought us a lot of joy at one point in our lives.

Tips for letting go of former hobby items 

It's hard to let go of those items from hobbies we are no longer doing, but really, these items have become clutter. They are taking up space in our homes, making it more difficult to enjoy our current lives.  Think about craft rooms / offices that are filled with bits and pieces of various crafts we used to enjoy doing but that we haven't touched in years.  Or the garages full of equipment from our former pastimes.

The problem is, every time we see these things, we are filled with guilt because we haven't done that hobby in so long.  It's a lot like the "former me" items we discussed a few days ago.

But it's better to be honest with ourselves and let go so we can live in the present, not the past.

Give away, donate, or sell these items to make space for the things you enjoy at this current stage of life.  Use your craft room / office for a home work room for your kids.  Make space in the garage for new sports you're playing.

If you used to do several related hobbies (e.g. played several sports, or did multiple kinds of crafts), if you're finding it hard to let go completely of such a big part of your life, and even part of your identity, you could choose one hobby out of the group and allow yourself to keep the items related to that hobby, and then let go of the rest.  (e.g. one sport, or one type of crafting).  This will significantly reduce your clutter and free up your time, space, and energy to allow you to actually enjoy that one hobby guilt-free!

When we discussed this type of sentimental clutter in the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group several members shared that they were able to let go of former hobby items because they passed their items on to someone else who loves their hobby also:

  • "When I saw them I was filled with sadness that I could not do them. I had time but cross stitch makes my joints hurt and it's getting harder to focus on those tiny x's. I gave it all to my dd who also enjoys it. I had a ton of thread, patterns, some fabric, etc."
  • "This was a hard one for me. On our last move I finally gave away the last of the craft supplies that used to be my Grandmas. I was down to some yarn and plastic canvas. It helped to pass things on to people who enjoy crafting with them because she loved to craft."
  • "I have quilting and art and scrapbooking pretty much thinned down. I have donated some stuff to school art departments since they are always on a tight budget.  As I declutter further, that fantasy self who did decorative painting on wood needs to let go.  Retirement homes are great places for donating projects also."

Please know that I'm not saying that hobbies are bad. Or that you shouldn't make time for leisure activities. I'm not saying that at all.  It's just that those activities change over time, and we need to accept that and move on so we can enjoy the things we make time for now.

Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display items from former hobbies 

This will really vary, depending on the hobbies involved.  But here are a few general ideas:

  • Find a way to use up supplies, even if it's not for their intended purpose.  For example, old material or yarn can be used as stuffing inside pillows or stuffed animals.
  • Take up a new hobby that uses some of the same material.  For example, one 365'r said she took a class on weaving, something she'd always wanted to do, and it allowed her to use up some of the yarn she still had from when she used to crochet.  
  • Depending on the items, you could create a shadow box with a few of your favourite items.  For example, if you used to fish, you could put your favourite lures in a shadow frame. 

Check out this picture from one 365'r.  She made this collage from her mother's, grandmother's and great grandmother's sewing bits. It's now in her sewing room and she loves seeing it when she goes in there.

What a beautiful way to display old sewing patterns and notions! And to remember her mother, grandmother, and great grandmother!  It's probably so inspiring when she goes in there to sew as well.

Whatever you decide to do with the items from your former hobby, celebrate the fact that it was something you enjoyed doing in the past.  And then look forward to the next time you'll enjoy your current hobbies!

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 hobbies have you moved on from? Have you let go of the clutter of past hobbies? If you have decluttered hobby-related items, what made it easier to let those things go? What tips can you share for those who are struggling to declutter their former hobby items?

As you declutter your former hobby 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 former hobby-related 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!

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