As professional organizers, there are a few things that we see on a regular basis. Yes, we all struggle with the daily clutter that clogs up our kitchens, hallways, garages, and bedrooms, but what about the other items in our homes eating up space? The secret struggle we all wrestle with...”The Sentimental Struggle”.
Let’s talk about the wall of boxes in the garage labeled “sentimental”
This is an area I think we can all admit is a tricky one. We can’t seem to figure out the best solution for these sentimental items. Our heartstrings usually take over, and our square footage takes a hit as we battle “The Sentimental Struggle”.
First off, you are NOT alone in this struggle of head vs heart
You know it’s not practical to save every ceramic bunny that your aunt made or every pie dish you remember seeing on the table as a kid. But when it comes to actually downsizing these items, it’s not easy. “The Sentimental Struggle” is one of the harder issues we encounter, as organizers, when helping our clients create a clutter-free home that’s waiting to uncover itself.
So, what should we do with all those sentimental items?
- Take a photo of them. Take a picture that you can store in the cloud or in a photo album, and is guaranteed to take up less space. It’s a simple way to store all of the keepsakes in one tidy spot. We always say “photos are memories, not things!” It has not led us wrong so far!
- Keep a memory journal. Journal about the moments that the sentimental items represent for you. Describe how they felt to receive them, who was with you, and what was said. Our kids and grandkids will undoubtedly appreciate the ability to read our memories as opposed to being saddled with a storage unit or a garage filled with tubs that contain items they have no connection with.
- Consolidate into one item. Do you struggle to let go of your boxes of baby clothes, high school cheerleading uniforms, or your grandmother’s doily collection? Consider having all of the pieces consolidated into one useful item… like a quilt! Surprisingly, I have even seen clients break apart their grandmother’s old dishes to make mosaic art. Think outside the box!
- Is it useful? Pass it on to another family member. Is the 300 lb wooden chest your great aunt left behind something you can’t imagine parting with, but you also struggle with wanting that space back? Find someone who can keep it in the family. Double points if it’s actually going to be used!
You did it! Pat yourself on the back for making it through those decisions with your heart intact. This is a difficult area when it comes to organization. Just remember to think realistically. Where will all that stuff end up when you are no longer around? Don’t let it become a burden to the next generation.
Once again, if you’re too overwhelmed or don’t know how to start, give us a call!
We would love to help you find the balance of holding on to your sentimental items while also achieving a decluttered home. At An Organized Home OC, we are judgment-free and promise to encourage you on your journey to obtain the organized home of your dreams!
Don’t feel like doing it yourself? We can help! Contact our team of professional organizers in Orange County, CA to get started today!