Tips For Dealing With Sentimental Belongings

By on November 21, 2012

We all have them; sentimental items which clutter our lives. We may not be sure why we have them; we may not even remember where we got them; but we can’t let them go. How do we know that too much of things with no meaning is a problem? How do we let go?

How Much is Too Much?
Sentimental belongings can be hard to let go of. Excess belongings can create issues in your home. Whether it is disorganization, massive amounts of clutter, or a hoarder mentality, the road from thrifty-collector to chaotic-mess is a slippery one. One thing remains clear; you cannot keep everything.

How do you know when too much is too much? Well what is the thing which people have told you most to get rid of? Imagine how losing that thing would make you feel. Is this a painful feeling? Would losing an item hurt you akin to losing a person? Will friends and family not come to your home anymore because of this clutter? When things begin to take on deeper meaning than people, that’s a problem.

How to Get Rid of Sentimental Items:
Yes, letting go of “things” can be difficult. But when your life’s too cluttered with things that you can’t be a person anymore, that’s a problem. Follow these steps to letting go of things that are sentimental items for you.

Identify: You are not things. Those who you love and who love you are not things. When you identify the symbolism behind the item you can identify the reasoning behind keeping it. Maybe you have a collection of hats that your grandfather left for you; he was always sporting a different hat in every memory you have of him. However these hats are too small for your head; you’ve just been carrying around these hats because you don’t want to let go of your deceased grandfather. When you identify that feeling inside of you, it will be easier to move on.

Hold: Your memories are always inside of you. Even if you feel like letting go of an object you identify with the memory is letting go of the memory, it’s not. You will always have your memories.

Functionality: Is there any use for these items you’re holding onto? If there’s not it may be worth it to consider that one man’s clutter is another man’s treasure. While these items and your conscience may be weighing you down with these “things,” someone else may be able to get good use out of these items you need to let go of.

Donation: By donating these items you are not only giving something to someone else who may not be able to attain this themselves, you are also honoring the memory of the individual who you affiliate this item with. If you can no longer use the item, why shouldn’t it find function in someone else’s life?
Creation: When you pay-it-forward by donating an item to someone else you are also creating new memories for those who otherwise wouldn’t have them.

Baby Steps: You can’t throw all your stuff into a bag and drive to Salvation Army today. Take the time to let go of these items and take as much time as you need. But keep going. Before we can run, we must first walk.

Sentimental items color all of our lives and that’s good. But for some of us they weigh us down. If you don’t remember why you’ve kept something, where you got it, or what it really means it’s probably a good sign you should let it go.

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