Sentimental clutter is by my far one of the biggest issues I deal with when working with clients. There are different types of sentimental clutter but each one has the same emotion attached to it GUILT!
These are the five types of sentimental clutter I see the when organizing homes. Do any of these sound familiar?
Items You Have Inherited
These are things you did not necessarily ask for but were given to you. Some you may want but most of the time I find these items boxed up in garages or in closets just taking up space. They can’t bare the guilt they would feel getting rid of them, even though they don’t want them and don’t have the space in the their home to store them.
Most people think their children will want them so they hold onto them and from my experience they never do! Don’t love Grandmas china? Keep one piece and sell the rest here. Items you inherit should not cause you clutter and stress.
Photos and Videos
Old school photos and videos are still an issue even though photos are digital now. Storing and organizing photos can be overwhelming and the easiest way to organize photos is sort, date and label.
What to toss? Doubles, out of focus photos, pictures of people you don’t recognize and all photos that you no longer want! The thought process is the same when organizing photos label and keep it simple.
This type has definitely become a bit easier because of the computer but there are still items they bring home from school, sports and various activities that you need to stay on top of. A simple way to keep track of your kids memorabilia is keeping labeled containers.
I like to use file boxes with hanging file folders and label each file by school year. When they bring something home you date the back and drop it in the folder. If you are already overwhelmed and everything is mixed together in one big pile start by purging and then sort each child’s item in labeled containers. Its like playing cards pick one up and put it in the appropriate container.
What to keep? In my opinion anything with hand or footprints and any notes they have written to you. You can have albums made of all their art work at the end of the year or frame them in frames that can be changed frequently like these. Take a photo of the rest and let it go.
Keeping every single thing from your child will eventually lead to unwanted clutter.
Personal Items That Were Given to You by Friends and Family
An example of these items are notes that were written to you, concert tickets or sentimental trinkets from important times in your life. If it means something to you display it!
Frame a handwritten note and every time you look at it it will bring back wonderful memories. Keep all notes and cards in a decorative container on a book shelf. When you receive a note that is special to you put it in the box.
One rainy afternoon you will grab that container and read the history of your life. Don’t hide the memories display them if they are important to you!
I have seen more collections than you can imagine and everyone thinks theirs is worth a lot of money.
Some items may have value but you need to do you homework to find out. There are many resources available to sell and consign your items. I always mention to my clients make sure its worth the amount of time it will take and the headache it may cause for the amount of money you will receive. Sometimes its just easier to let it go!
Keeping things out of guilt is robbing you of space in your home that could be used for something you will really enjoy!
I know this may seem overwhelming at first but once you get rid of the guilt you will get rid of the clutter.