One of the our biggest emotional blocks against reducing clutter is nostalgia! We want to keep remembering the great things that happened to us while wearing that sweater or the time in our lives when we loved those plates, so we hang on to stuff that we no longer need. But guess what? You don't need the actual items to keep those great memories at the front of your mind. Try these ideas.
Save one or two items to represent a period or event
If you can't get yourself to get rid of your ALL of your baby's clothes or your college notebooks, try saving just a select few. Pick one that has a strong memory attached or a few pieces from different eras so you can see changes over time. Let them represent the whole bunch.
Photos are free to take, easy to store digitally and you can display them in so many ways. You're already in the habit of snapping a pic when you want to remember a person or activity; try it when you want to remember an item as well. You won't feel so vulnerable about letting your physical things go if they're constantly being documented for posterity.
Turn it into something else
The ubiquitous t-shirt quilt is a great way to save yourself from storage overload but it's not the only option. Consider all the ways you could repurpose your unused items. Try framing something you want to save or find a creative way to turn it into another kind of art project so you can display your memories rather than store that stuff in the closet.
Who else is decluttering? How are you making sure to hold on to your favorite memories?