One of the last strongholds in our battle against excess is usually sentimental items. We fear we will forget something or someone if we do not have a tangible way to remember the moment. But alas it is not true, we do not need things to remember the moments we hold dear. I have come up with some steps to help you deal with the sentimental paper clutter that maybe weighing you down.
Assess it’s value
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you determine the value of an item:
Do you still value what you have kept such as movie tickets, play programs or band posters?
Will you forget the memory if you do not still have the without the memento?
Does it make you happy to remember?
Am I still in this relationship?
If the answer is no to any of the above questions, then it is probably a good idea to get rid of it. Even if it is a yes, check that it aligns with your overall values for your home.
Work through each and every item, take your time. You are working on things you have probably given a high value to. It will be hard and you may need to take breaks. It is okay to come back to it, just don’t put it off forever.
Now that you have kept the things most important to you, you need to figure out what to do with them.
Do you need to save all of it or can you keep part of it? For example, my husband buys me beautiful cards and writes me notes that I really value. But honestly I really only ever read the notes, so I went through and cut out all the notes, which saved me a grocery bag amount of clutter. My sister on the other hand said the value of the card would have been lost for her if she had cut the card. You need to decide for yourself if you can save part of something or if the whole is most valuable.
Are you a put it in a box and touch everything person or a paste it in a book and look at it person?The best option is to incorporate these sentimental items in to everyday life. I have turned many items into magnets, used fancy dishes for ever day or used up that special perfume. Using somethings is not an option, so memory boxes where you can take the items out and touch them may work for you. Or if you are like me and don’t value touching things, paste your papers into a book. You can make your storage solution as elaborate or simple as you want, do what works for you.
Light as a feather
Hopefully this has taken some weight from your home physically and emotionally. You may want to revisit your stuff in a few months or a few years. Priorities change and you may find that you no longer value the things you kept.