Today in the Decluttering Sentimental Items series, we're decluttering old calendars, planners, and datebooks. Some of you probably just toss them at the end of the year, but many people hang onto them. Sometimes for YEARS. Today I'm going to share tips for decluttering them, as well as share some ideas for repurposing or displaying them.
Why old calendars are hard to let go of
Old calendars, daytimers, and planners can be hard to let go of because we think we might need to refer back to them sometime to see when certain events or appointments took place. Or we might want to keep them as a record of everything we did that year. We might even keep old calendars because we liked the pictures in them a lot.
Tips for letting go of old calendars
Remember the definition of clutter: anything you don't need, use, love, or have the space to store. Think about your old calendars, daytimers, and planners... do you need them? do you use them? do you love them? do you have the space to store them? If not, then they are clutter.
Here are some tips to help you let them go:
- If you're keeping them because you think you'll look at them again later, be realistic. How often do you actually do that? Most people rarely, if ever, actually ever look back at them. Which means they're clutter. If that's you, then let them go. Enjoy using that space for something else or just having empty space :)
- If you really need some of the dates from your old calendars or planners, you could copy them into your current calendar with the year they took place. Or start a generic calendar so you don't have to keep copying them from year to year.
Here are a few tips from the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group members for keeping important dates / memories without keeping the physical calendars, planners, or daytimers:
- "I make sure to transfer important dates each year when I get a new calendar. If there were any other important dates to remember I can jot those on my online calendar. I don't save any of these things personally. And it seems much of my date keeping is now done online, so there is nothing that takes up physical space!"
- "I'm trying putting pages in a binder for recurring items. Like I just looked up what we did on a particular weekend this month the last few years because there's an annual date then for a particular event that I want to keep up with how we handle it."
- "I don't use store bought calenders much. I print a year's worth on my computer and just copy birthdays/events over. So I can print a new one if I need to quickly and I don't spend time writing in all the events. Having it on the computer of annual events is so much faster and easier."
Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display old calendars
I don't really know any ways you can reuse old calendars... I mean once the year is over, you can't really use them again because the dates are all different the next year. Actually, some planners and calendars you can keep using if you write the dates in yourself. But then the old pages are clutter if you don't need to refer to them any more so you can let go of those.
Some calendars can be repurposed or displayed though. If you've kept some old calendars so you can use the pictures for decor in your home, then choose your favourites and actually frame them or hang them or whatever you're planning to do with them. And then toss the rest. I used to think I'd plak-it some of them for decor but I never did so eventually I tossed them. If you've been "meaning to" use them for decor but haven't done anything with them for a long time, set yourself a date to do it by, and if you don't decorate with them by then, let them go.
And you could take a few sentimental pages of calendars or planners and make a collage with them. Or if you want to keep adding a few special pages each year, you could put them in a shadow frame.
Here are a few ideas from members of the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group:
- "Maybe it's time to make an album out of all the Norman Rockwell calendars I have."
- "I have one old planner and I keep it for a few different reasons. Mainly because I used it to record all my youngest's milestones for his first year. And because it kind of started me on the planner path I'm on now. Now that I make my own planners, I pull out pages that are special, that maybe I journaled about a vacation on, or jotted down some things about an event we went to that I don't want to forget. I couldn't imagine keeping them all. Even the little one I'm using as more of a personal journal this year, I probably won't keep all the pages, just some of the weeks I don't want to forget."
- "I think I still have my first planner from when my kids were young and I was care-giving 2 old ladies also. It zipped up so I could tuck notes in and had everything in it. Grandma laughed about it and I told her it is my brain book and I scheduled nothing without consulting it. ;-)"
If you want to keep a few calendars or day-timers that remind you of a special time in your life, then make sure you keep them someplace where you can look at them from time to time. And at the very least, if you're keeping a few, store them in your memory bin so they are safe, and where you can look at them and enjoy them once in awhile.
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.
How many old calendars / datebooks / planners have you been holding onto? Why have you been keeping them? If you've decluttered yours, what made it easier for you? What tips can you share with those who are decluttering theirs now?
As you declutter your calendars and planners, 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 old calendars, 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!
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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