What is sentimental clutter?
We all have at least one item that we have kept only because it holds some sentimental value. It might be earrings that your first boyfriend gave you or your child’s first romper. The number of items that come in this category is vast, and if you think about it, you might have quite a few of such items yourself. However, they form sentimental clutter when you are unable to use them, yet you cannot get rid of them. You either feel guilty, or you feel like you will be disrespecting the person who gave it to you.
A memory is attached to every item in the sentimental clutter which makes it impossible for you to get rid of them. You feel like you are detaching from a part of yourself when you even think of giving the item away to donation, giving it to someone else or even if you think about getting rid of the item. If you believe that you can think up of some of the things in your home that you have a sentimental attachment to, then it is clear that you have sentimental clutter in your home. It is doing nothing but taking valuable space in your home.
Why is it so difficult to get rid of sentimental clutter?
Sentimental clutter is one of the most challenging types of clutter to get rid of. Since it binds you emotionally, you cannot just choose to get rid of it in one go and do it. The following are the exact reasons why sentimental clutter is impossible to get rid of:
- You feel a strange, painful sensation when you force yourself to get rid of something that meant a lot to you at one point in Some people experience physical pain in their chest when they even dare think about getting rid of something that has no value at present but did have a lot of significance in the past.
- You feel comfortable knowing that you have it with you. Even if you have it in storage somewhere deep down you are holding on to the point of time; a moment you never want to forget. You feel comfortable when you think about it and what that moment meant to you. If the person who gave it to you passed away, then you have a stronger attachment to it.
- You attach the memory to the item. For example, if your first love gave you a teddy bear, you don’t want to get rid of it because it was the sweetest gesture from someone you truly admired at the time. Even if you are no longer together, you attach the memory to the teddy bear that you got as a present. You think getting rid of it seems like you don’t care anymore.
How can you effectively declutter sentimental clutter?
It is not impossible to get rid of sentimental clutter if you put your mind to it. When organizing truly matters to you, then you can do it. It is only when you declutter all types of clutter in your home you can effectively organize your house to the best of your abilities. If you believe that sentimental clutter is taking too much space and you are holding on to past emotions, then it is high time that you let go. That seems easier said than done right? This is why we bring you the ultimate ways in which you can declutter sentimental clutter without feeling guilty.
Limit the amount of sentimental clutter
When you have ten things from the same person, it is not the right thing to keep them all. You are only holding on to someone’s memories from the past. While getting rid of all the things may not be possible or even ideal, you can try to keep one item (ideally small) from the person. You can keep one item per person or memory. This can help limit the amount of clutter that you keep in your house, and it will help you declutter sentimental clutter.
Display the sentimental clutter
If you don’t want to get rid of the cards that your daughter made for you, then you don’t have to throw them away. If the item is something that you feel appreciation for when you look at it, then you can display it in your house. You can either showcase it or keep it someplace where you will be able to see it every day. Anything that makes you feel joyful can be displayed. If it is a painful memory that is invoked anytime you look at that particular item, then it is time that you get rid of it somehow otherwise it will hold you back.
Save the memory digitally.
What if you have lots of photos of things from the past that you hold close to your heart? Instead of keeping all the photographs, you can take a picture of them or scan them and keep them with you. Just remember to keep a backup of all those so that they are accessible to you whenever you want. This ensures that you still have the memory intact, but you are not holding up space in your house with the sentimental clutter. You can take pictures of items too that you are finding it difficult to get rid of but which mean a lot to you.
Keep a separate box for sentimental items
When you are storing the sentimental items, you can keep aside a small container or box. This container can contain all of the items that at some point meant a big part of your life. Whenever you want to, you can relive that moment by taking out the container and then looking at the items that are inside it. Do this only after you have taken the time to determine which memory you want to keep otherwise the small box won’t be sufficient! This separate box will ensure that the sentimental items do not clutter around your house.
Do something valuable with the sentimental clutter
You can do something with the sentimental clutter instead of just letting it be as it is. For example, if it is something that can be of use to someone else, you can donate the item to them. Similarly, if it is possible, then you can give the item for recycling. Another option is that if there is a new way in which you can use it, then you can do that. For example, if someone has given something of value, but it is vintage, then you can make it suit your style and use the item. You can hold on to the sentiment and the item in this way since it is useful.
You can now bid goodbye to items that are only filling up space in your home. Don’t forget that the first step to getting rid of sentimental clutter is to be committed to doing it. If your heart is not ready, then give it some time. You can commence the task of decluttering sentimental clutter once you have mentally prepared to do it. You can write the day in your planner when you are going to declutter sentimental clutter so that you don’t forget. Once done, you will feel better, and you will be able to live in the present.