Tips for Decluttering Sports Memorabilia {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 6} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Decluttering Sports Memorabilia {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 6}

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tips for Decluttering Sports Memorabilia {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 6}

Today in the Decluttering Sentimental Items series we're decluttering sports memorabilia. Things that were earned or won like pennants, trophies, ribbons, awards, etc. Or collections like sports cards, posters, bobbleheads, souvenir cups, posters, etc. Or it could be jerseys or balls. These items could be from your own life, your spouse's life, or your kids' lives.

Why sports memorabilia is hard to let go of  

Sports memorabilia items can be hard to let go of because they mean so much to a sports lover. They bring back memories of games we went to, cheering on our favourite team with a parent or sibling, or playing a sport we love.

But over time, these sentimental items often end up being kept in a bin or box in the garage or basement or the top shelf in a closet, which makes it hard to enjoy them or remember those special times.

Tips for letting go of sports memorabilia 

Here are some things to consider when you're decluttering to help you let go:

  • Try to find ways to display the most important items so you can remember those special days and events all the time. {See below for examples}
  • If you decide you don't have the space to display or store all your sports memorabilia, consider keeping only a few special items and giving away the rest. 
  • You can often donate sports memorabilia to silent auctions or children's charities. 
  • You may be able to sell some of your sports memorabilia.  It might be clutter in your home but someone else out there may be willing to pay you so they can display it in theirs!
  • You can also give some items away to friends or family members who share your love of a particular sport or team.

I did some online research and there are quite a few places you can contact in your area to see if they want old trophies (apparently the tops of trophies can be switched out for other figures and the plates can be replaced as well):

  • Boys and Girls clubs
  • Scouts/Guides
  • 4H clubs
  • Pool halls
  • Sports associations/clubs
  • Clubs for people with mental disabilities
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Other charities 
  • Some trophy shops may take them as well (if not to reuse they would at least be able to recycle the metal and wood appropriately)
  • Thrift shops like Salvation Army, Value Village, and Goodwill take them and seem to sell them
  • You could also list them for free on Freecycle, Craigslist, or Kijiji
  • Some comments I've read online say that Special Olympics does not want them but others say they do so you could check your local one. 

For more ideas, check out this site.

And recently Peter Walsh was on the Rachael Ray show sharing tips for decluttering and displaying sports memorabilia.

Stories from the 365 Items in 365 Days FB Group

  • One member sold sports items on eBay to help them get out of debt.  They sold duplicates of sports souvenirs and any sports memorabilia to which they no longer had any attachment. Knowing they had have less debt was motivating and they ended up with no debt and more space.
  • Another member went through some of her son's sports items with him.  There were lots of participation awards in his room from years of playing basketball at the elementary-middle school level. She asked him if he still wanted them since they were almost 15 years old and reminders of fun times. She said he looked at her like she was crazy and wondered why she kept them that long...they just collect dust...everyone got one...we didn't win anything special.
  • Other members expressed that their parents had kept items for them that they were no longer interested in.  It's important that we understand who we are keeping items for... is it for ourselves or for our children?  If it's for our children, do they really want them?  
  • One member said she based her decisions on what to keep based on how much effort went into each trophy or award.  Those that represented a significant accomplishment were kept and those with less effort were decluttered. 

Here's a picture one group member shared.  Her comment was "10 dust collectors gone. In the donate pile. Whoo hoo."

It's such a freeing feeling to let go of things that have become clutter in your home. 

Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display sports memorabilia 

There are lots of display options for sports memorabilia.

For example, if you have sports jerseys you'd like to keep (maybe a child's first jersey or your college jersey or an autographed jersey), you could hang them in special shadow boxes made for jerseys {affiliate link}.

Or if you've got a special football you want to keep, you can get a football claw like this {affiliate link} and hang it on the wall.

There are similar claws for soccer balls or basketballs too.  It's a great option to maximize vertical space in a room rather than using flat surfaces like shelves or dressers to display these special items.

We're working with my son to re-do his room from a little kid's room to a pre-teen room with a baseball theme.  One of the first things we did was to gather all of his baseball memorabilia into one spot (it was previously scattered in various places throughout the room).  I had an extra set of shelves and re-arranged his room to create a space for them.  We organized all of his baseball items (except those that will hang on the wall) on these shelves.

We used baseball display cubes like these {affiliate link} to display his baseballs... much better than having them rolling around like they were before!  Looks like I need to buy a couple more.

I love how it turned out... and so does he :)  His trophies are on the top, special baseballs on the next shelf, bobbleheads below that, and a few piggy banks and autographed hats on the bottom shelf.

If you want to repurpose some sports memorabilia, I saw some creative ideas on Pinterest for reusing the trophies such as screwing the tops into a piece of wood to create hooks, removing the tops to make a Christmas tree ornament, etc.

Another idea I saw was to remove the name plates and create a frame with all the name plates. It takes up less space than all the trophies on a shelf and you still have the memories of the effort involved. You could even put pictures of the original trophies (or even better pictures of your kids holding the trophies when they won them!) beside the name plates in a frame.  If you have several trophies from the same sport, you could mount one figure at the top of a frame and add an award plate for each year under it. You could even use a sport t-shirt or jersey as the back ground.

I love love these ideas for preserving the memories without the amount of space the trophies take up!  Might have to talk to my son about some of them if he keeps adding to his trophy collection :)

Here's an example of what another member of the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group did with her daughter's dance medals, sashes, and trophies.  She's still dancing and I bet seeing these awards inspires 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! 

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

If you decluttered your sports memorabilia, where did you donate it?  Who did you give it to?
What helped you let go of sports memorabilia?  Or if you decided to keep a few treasures, how are you using them?  What tips can you share for those who are having trouble letting go of theirs?

As you declutter your sports memorabilia, 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 sports memorabilia 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!