Dealing with sentimental clutter

By: Jun 29, 2012
organizing clutter

Tips to help you organize the clutter that’s managed to creep its way into the spare room or garage.

When you watch a show like Hoarders or any of the other TV shows based on a person’s problem with clutter, it’s easy to pass judgment and mock anyone who let’s their clutter take over their lives, but if you have ever hung onto anything for no reason other than it having some sort of sentimental value, then you are not all that different from those people. Sentimental clutter is something that most of us have to deal with in one way or another.

Dealing with sentimental clutter isn’t easy because feelings tend to cloud your better judgment. It’s hard to reason with sentimentality, even when it comes to something as seemingly ridiculous as that cheesy Elvis sign he picked up on a road trip to Graceland back when he was in college or her old Cabbage Patch dolls that she used to have tea parties with when she was a kid. So what’s a person to do when they need to clear up space but have sentimental clutter that’s managed to creep its way into the spare room or office? Here are 3 tips:

#1 Stop Living in the Past
If you find yourself constantly longing for a time gone by and hanging onto things from that time in your life, you need to really look inside of yourself to see why you’re still living in the past. Being unhappy with our current situation can make it easy to want to hang on tight to a time when life was easier or happier, but how is this helping you? We can’t go back in time no matter how much we wish we could sometimes. Hanging onto things for this reason can make it hard for you to enjoy the present or look forward to the future. If you feel that this is what you’ve been doing, then you just may find it therapeutic to rid yourself of these things as a pledge to work on what’s bothering you and to help you move on.

#2 Narrow Things Down to Only the True Keepers
Being sentimental isn’t a bad thing, but for those of us who are extremely sentimental, we can tend to add and “awwww” factor to just about everything if we’re not careful. When it’s time to de-clutter, set aside all of the sentimental clutter you have and rate them in order of how important they are to you. Only keep items that mean the most and giveaway or recycle the rest.

#3 Share the Love
It’s just not practical to hang onto everything all the time. If you have items that hold a special place in your heart but just don’t have the space to keep them, consider sharing them with your loved ones. Some items may not make a lot of sense to someone else and others may not have use for some of them, but any of the things that you think someone else would love are worth giving to them. You’ll feel great cleaning up the clutter while also making someone else smile with your special gift.