Breaking Up With Your Belongings: Decluttering Tips for the Sentimentalist

Are you sentimentally attached to your stuff? Do you still have the Benetton sweater you wore in junior high or an absurd collection of oven mitts because you got them on sale at Anthropologie and the fabric is so cute you can't bear to part with one? Me too. Here is some advice on how to let go of some of your goods.

It all started when I was a little girl. I would save every birthday card, note passed in class and scrap of paper that felt even slightly reverent. Living in a small home, my sentimental nature has become a problem. After scouring the web for professional advice aimed out decluttering sentimental items, here are some tips that I learned.


  • The fire clause. Ask yourself what you would want to take with you in case of a fire. This is a great way to determine what you truly value. I now store all my priceless momentos together in a vintage trunk and sleep peacefully.

  • The function clause. Decide what in your home has a purpose — and what doesn't. Ask yourself why you are holding on to the items that don't have a specific use and decide if the space they are taking up is worth it.

  • The someday clause. In most cases get rid of the things your are hoping to use or wear "someday". Chances are someday will come and you won't like the thing anymore anyway.

  • The happiness clause. Last but not least, keep the things that make you truly happy. I have a little wooden boat that is weathered and ancient that I found while backpacking in Europe that just makes me smile. It has no tangible purpose, but I'd save it before my functional toaster any old day.

For additional tips on decluttering sentimental items check out these articles:
Oprah | 12 Ways to Unclutter your Life
We Live Simply | Decluttering Sentimental Items
Unclutterer | Preserving Cherished Sentimental Items.

Image: Mixr via Design Love Fest

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