We all want our homes to be filled with items we love. But what about items we don't love that someone we DO love gifted us? Or items that hold sentimental value but we have too many of them. These can be emotionally difficult to part with.
As Professional Home Organizers, we aren't in the business of just getting rid of everything. We know everyone has sentimental items and that certain material possessions carry memories. However, we also know the weight physical objects can carry, especially when they take up space in our homes.
Accumulation of Family Heirlooms and Sentimental Items.
It's easy to accumulate stuff and it may be easy to get rid of particular things - like old mail, clothes with stains, or toys that no longer work. Those are relatively easy decisions because there is no longer a purpose or need for them. But what about family heirlooms or items that hold a special memory? Many people get stuck in their decluttering journey when they encounter things they love or did love.
When we come across sentimental items, whether a dress you wore to prom, your kid's favorite toy as a baby, or your Grandmother's China collection, things begin to feel confusing. We can easily tie up emotions with logical thinking and avoid decluttering those items altogether. That's why so many family heirlooms and sentimental items end up in boxes in garages and attics. However, where else do these items end up? The truth is they end up at estate sales, yard sales, or just being passed on to sit in someone else's storage space.
If You Love it, Let it Go.
If you love something, it's best to honor it. And if you love the person who gave you something, honor them by honoring the item.
That doesn't mean you need to hold onto it. In fact, it may be the most freeing thing to let it go. If you find yourself rationalizing why you're holding onto it, and all of the reasons are because someone gave it to you, because you might use it someday, or because you feel your kids may want it eventually, you may want to pause and reevaluate. Are you keeping it out of guilt? Do you want your children to be burdened with things out of guilt? Can you break the cycle now? These are all critical questions that can bring clarity.
Honor Your Loved Ones Without Keeping All Their Stuff.
There are a few ways to honor your loved ones or memories without keeping all of your stuff. Here are some of the ways that we practice and have worked wonders for our clients:
Is This Item a Past Version of You Or Something You Want to Carry Forward?
Just think about how good it will feel to give your items that chance to be loved by someone else! If you have stuff just sitting around, collecting dust, and preventing you from living a stress-free life, it's time to let them go. What good is something doing if it's just sitting in a box or pushed into the corner of your closet?
Perhaps you're holding onto pre-baby clothing or from another era of your life. Ask yourself, is it who you are and want to be now/going forward, or are you holding onto something that's really a past version of you that you no longer want to be?
When we have surrounded ourselves with items that remind us of our past, it's easy to get stuck there. In order to move forward and progress, we have to purge our home of stuff that no longer serves us; which includes letting go of the guilt that surrounds it.
We know this can be a daunting process, but you don't have to do it all at once or even alone. We are here to help guide you throughout the process, take your donations away, and be that unbiased voice of reason when it's hard to make a decision. Starting slow, with a solid plan, and having an end goal in mind is the best way to go about the process of letting go of sentimental items.
Are you ready to honor yourself and your loved ones? Download our organizing guide to get a good idea of how we'll help you let go of clutter and the guilt attached to those items.
At Hello Simplified, we specialize in helping clients going through big life changes. We offer home organizing services and packing & unpacking services. Read through for tips on how we help our clients feel less overwhelmed and more in control of their busy lives and homes.