declutter with me – sentimental items

Welcome back to my declutter series and today we are talking about one of the hardest things to declutter, sentimental items. We all collect items throughout our lives that are important to us but sometimes we do need to edit them down.

Note: I am not telling you to get rid of every sentimental item in your life, but like everything this is an area that can be gone through and it doesn’t have to be scary.

I had multiple bins of sentimental items between my own home and still stored at my parents and it really took up a lot of space. I had a bin of stuff that was entirely to do with Nigel and I’s relationship, a bin to do with camp, and a big bin full of everything else.

I started with the Nigel bin as that is what I had at home, going through the memories of our relationship. While I kept many things I didn’t feel the need to keep the ticket stub from every movie we ever saw in our entire relationship or the card that only said “Merry Christmas”. I loved working through this box and reminding myself of everything but I was able to make a bit of room for new memories.

I then brought home the bins from my parents and started to work through those. There were a lot of things in there from the past 25 years of life and many of them I didn’t need that physical representation. I find that the longer it is from the event the less I need to keep of it. I am able to pick and choose what I really want to keep.

In the end I was able to get everything into two small bins. One for Nigel and I and one for everything else. I also got Nigel to go through his bins and the same time and he also was able to get rid of many items as well.

Nigel’s bins on the left and mine on the right

Here are some of my tips for going through sentimental items:

  1. Don’t rush – this process can take some time so do this on a day when you can really dedicate a few hours to the process
  2. Go through everything of a specific type at once – This can help you decide what items from a specific event or person that you want to keep
  3. Go through it with someone else – Some of these items can be painful but having someone there to laugh or cry with you as you go through items can be very helpful
  4. Don’t keep things because you think you should – No one controls what you are keeping besides you and you don’t have to keep anything because someone else thinks you should
  5. Take pictures – You don’t always need the physical item to keep the memories. You can take pictures of bigger items or scan cards and letters which saves space but you still keep the item

Sentimental items can be really hard to get rid of, but if they are taking over your life you don’t get to really enjoy the things that you do have.

Check out my other declutter posts here:

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