Decluttering Sentimental Items

Whether you’re downsizing your home or simply want to clear out some clutter, you’re bound to come across sentimental items during the process. Of course you’ll want to keep the most meaningful pieces, but holding onto too many things can become a clutter problem in itself.

The truth is, spending the time and effort decluttering sentimental items can have a major positive impact on your home and life. Here’s how you start the process successfully (and without feeling like you’re letting go of a memory).

Things to Consider When Decluttering or Downsizing Your Home for Retirement

Decluttering or downsizing your home for retirement is hard work—both physically and mentally. It can feel like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster as you pick and choose what to keep and what to let go. But the truth is, when we have fewer sentimental items, we can highlight, value, use and appreciate them more. Here’s how to approach it.

Embrace minimalism
Decluttering your home doesn’t have to mean getting rid of every single unused item you own. It’s perfectly fine to keep some special pieces, within reason. However, if you keep too many of these items, they can end up getting lost in each other, thereby diminishing their meaningfulness. Be a little ruthless by setting some kind of limit while decluttering sentimental items.

Ask yourself why you’re saving it
As you wade through your boxes and storage shelves, ask yourself why you want to hang onto a particular item. Does it remind you of a special moment? Is it for your kids when they’re adults? Is there a feeling of guilt or a sense of obligation that makes you feel like you have to keep it? We all have different reasons for holding onto sentimental items, so be honest and realistic about the motivation behind wanting to keep them.

Repurpose instead of store
Even better than storing sentimental items is finding ways to use or repurpose them. For instance, if you’re downsizing for retirement, instead of buying new generic décor items, display those memorable pieces that are meaningful to you. Then you can enjoy and appreciate them every day.

Take photos
Once you’ve narrowed down an appropriate limit of saved items, it’s a great idea to take photos of things you’d like to remember, but don’t necessarily need to keep. This is a simple and meaningful way to preserve the memories associated with them.

Remember, all the effort that goes into decluttering sentimental items ends up giving you more space and freedom. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s a journey, and even small steps mean you’re making progress.