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Decluttering sentimental items… a few handy hints

If you’ve been decluttering your home you will have made lots of choices along the way that will have left you with the important bits that you love or use. At some point you will get past the easy stuff and arrive at some much more difficult decisions – those sentimental pieces. I’m talking about that piece of jewellery that’s been passed down through the family, your kids artwork from nursery, love letters from pre-email times, your first needlework project, your old scout camp sweater etc.

It is really hard to let go of the stuff soaked in memories – those sentimental items that you just HAVE to keep – or do you?

Living well with LESS does not mean living with NOTHING ! The key is ensuring it really is the important stuff that remains. Here’s a few ideas that might help you:-

· Taking a digital PHOTO of memorable things is a really useful way of letting go of physical items whilst still retaining a trigger for your memories. Don’t forget you can group things together or take pics with someone using the item e.g. Your child could wear your old Brownie cap! You may even want to put together a scrapbook if you’re feeling creative and have the time.

· Get those special items you love and want to keep into USE. If you’ve been stashing away a crockery set for “best" then why not get it out? Make them your everyday plates and consider donating your other stuff. For your kids special arts or craft get it on display. Allocate an area that will be your gallery. As new “masterpieces” arrive decide which ones will stay and which can be moved on.

· A MEMORY BOX can be a great way to store some of your past and allow stories to be shared and retained over time. Do make sure that it’s not too large though, otherwise it may end up as a clutter hot spot. You want to be able to get the contents out easily from time to time, reminisce and enjoy it. As the box fills up you may wish to implement the 1 IN 1 OUT policy. Remember, over time the things that are most important to you will change.

· RE-PURPOSE items. If you’ve got a favourite baby outfit you can’t part with why not turn it into a cushion or even a bear. If you’ve got multiple pieces of clothing you really want to keep then consider a patchwork blanket or table runner. Don’t worry if you’re not that good at needlework as being imperfect can make it more personal and quirky.

· If you have suffered loss, then consider that the loved ones who are no longer here would not want their stuff to BURDEN you. When we get rid of an item we are NOT getting rid of that person or the memory.

Ultimately, our memories are INSIDE US not our things.

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