Tidying up your Sentimental Items

This includes all precious items like cards, clippings, journals, childhood memorabilia, kids art and figurines. Organising Photos and Albums are also part of sentimental items, which I have already covered in week 12. 

Some of us are more sentimental and tend to hold on to things from our past. You might sit with boxes of items in the attic or cupboards filled with things, which you haven’t touched in years. Letting go of sentimental items is tough. 

I hope I can inspire you to open up your boxes and clear out any cluttered spaces. You will feel like you have achieved a big accomplishment after this challenging and time-consuming process. And you will have gained more space, which might be the initial reason for the decluttering. 

You shouldn’t ever feel guilty for wanting to keep anything precious, even the most accomplished professional organisers have things that they hang onto. With time it gets easier to declutter. 

Organising sentimental items

  • Collect everything from your storage and cupboards that has a sentimental meaning.
  • Organise items into groups. 
  • There will be the obvious old items which you have forgotten about and no longer find beautiful. Remove them first.
  • Try to reduce items which you still adore by choosing the best 3 or the most recent items of each group, e.g. cards from your parent, diaries, love letters, etc.
  • If you have a collection of items which belong together, try to find a way to display them.
  • When you struggle to discard an item ask yourself if it is something that you want to take into the future with you. 
  • If you can still not throw something away, then keep it with confidence.
  • At any stage when you feel too overwhelmed, take a break. Go easy on yourself.
  • You can sell unwanted ornaments and other old household items in a yard sale.
  • Tip: take photos of all the special items before you discard them, to keep the memories alive.

Various ways of displaying your memories

  • Create a scrapbook with your favourite photos and other memories of your childhood or travels, e.g. cards and ticket stubs. 
  • Create a treasure box: 
    • Store precious items in a beautiful box, which you can either buy or make from scratch. 
    • Keep accessories or trinkets in smaller boxes.
    • Place letters and cards upright.
    • Display the box in a prominent place where you can look at it, like on a shelf in your living room.
  • Create a picture board or a group of picture frames with your favourite memories, which you can hang up.
  • Create a memory wall and hang up your favourite sentimental items.
  • Display figurines and ornaments in a display-cupboard or on shelves where you can enjoy looking at them.

“Our memories are not in our things, our memories are inside of us.”

Follow my 52 Week Organise your Life Programme

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