Letting Go: Effective Ways to Decluttering Sentimental Items

housekeeping sentimental clutter

If you are struggling to let sentimental items go, you are not alone

Maggy Maid house cleaning experts reveal their top strategies for parting with sentimental items, from detaching them from memories to honing your decluttering skills.

How To Declutter Sentimental Items?

Whenever you’re ready, here’s our recommendations to declutter sentimental items.

Decluttering our sentimental items can be one of the most difficult organization tasks we do as adults. We all attach feelings and memories to objects, but when closets, drawers and cabinets start to overflow with keepsakes, it becomes overwhelming to distinguish the truly meaningful ones from the clutter.

How to Declutter Sentimental Items - Maggy Maid

First Step: Setting a Timeframe and Cleaning System
To prevent feeling overwhelmed, consider setting a time limit for your decluttering sessions. Our cleaning experts suggest keeping each session under three hours to avoid burnout. Treat these sessions as important appointments, similar to visits to the dentist or doctor. Make sure nothing else is more important during this time. If you think you might get emotional while sorting, ask a family member or friend to help you stay focused and give you support.

Second Step: Carefully Sort Through the Clutter
Get four boxes and label them: keep, donate, trash, and sell. As you sort through your items, put them into one of these boxes. For larger items, you can also use color-coordinated sticky notes to show which box they belong to.

When Getting Rid of Your Meaningful Items, Always Remember:

  • Feel free to let go of items, even if they were gifts. You’re not obligated to keep things you won’t use.
  • Don’t let guilt weigh you down. Your home should reflect what matters most to you.
  • Donate items in good condition to someone who will appreciate them.
  • Share heirlooms with family members who may cherish them.
  • Get creative and repurpose jewelry or photo frames into something new.
  • Keep just one if you have multiples of something, like holiday wreaths. Choose the one you’ll use and enjoy.

Third Step: Revisit The Most Difficult Items
After you’ve made it through the first set of sorting and your “keep” pile is still full, this is the best time to take a second look. In most cases, you’ll find a few set of things you now feel comfortable donating.

If you’re finding it hard to part with sentimental items, consider digitising them to preserve the memories. Taking photos of these items can help you feel more comfortable letting go, knowing you can still revisit the memories whenever you want.

Fourth Step: Donate or Sell Some Items You’re Parting With
Once you’ve sorted items into different boxes, the next step should be straightforward. Stick to your decision to let go of items, even if you have second thoughts.

For items in good condition, check with local thrift stores and donation centers to ensure they’re accepting donations. You can also sell items locally using platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon Marketplace.

For items you need to dispose of, consider your options based on the amount and timeframe. Renting a roll-off dumpster can be efficient for larger cleanouts, while curbside bulk collection is suitable for smaller quantities.

Fifth Step: Highlight The Remaining Items You’ve Decided to Keep
Now that you have free space and a handful of items that are especially meaningful to you, it’s time to give them a deserving spot in your home. Whether it’s placing a figurine on a shelf or framing a beloved artwork, displaying these items will strengthen the connection and help ease some of the guilt that comes with decluttering.

Letting go of Children Mementos - Maggy Maid

How to Get Rid of Children’s Mementos?

Decluttering toys and children’s art can be really difficult, but the chances are when your kids have grown up, they won’t want to hold onto these things either. So narrow things down and only keep only the best. Ask them and find out which items they really love, which ones they actually remember, and bring up good memories, if any.

How Do I Let Go of Clothings with Sentimental Items?

If you have a dress or T-shirt that reminds you of a good time, you probably have a photo of yourself in it. So you can cherish the picture and let go of the old garment.

‘If it still has life in it, let someone else have it by donating it. You can also creatively reuse it. Reuse the fabric in a project: make a pouch, a pillow, or even a cleaning rag.

Is Decluttering Items with Sentimental Value Good for You?

According to Maggy Maid house cleaning experts, decluttering sentimental items helps you move forward in life. ‘Sentimental items are a representation of your past. Getting stuck in the past will prevent you to move forward, so it’s very important to deal with sentimental clutter appropriately and in a timely manner. It is a good way to check in with yourself and see where you’re at with your past.

How to Declutter Sentimental Items - Maggy Maid

Keeping Your Sentimental Clutter at Bay

While you’ve done the work of decluttering the sentimental keepsakes that you currently own, it’s easy to use the extra space to stockpile more stuff. If you’re tasked with cleaning out a loved one’s home, it can be taxing to declutter and clean all at once.

Ready to tackle the other cluttered areas in your home and you need an extra hand? Our Maggy Maid team is always ready to help. Get your obligation free quote today!

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