6 Steps to Solving Your Sentimental Clutter Chaos

Sentimentality is oftentimes the most difficult part of decluttering a home. Discarding an old tv or the well-loved living room sofa is one thing, but tossing photographs, ticket stubs, love letters, and souvenirs are another. Just take a look around at all the items you have some sentimental affection or attachment to. And I do mean those that you know you never use and maybe only see, occasionally. (Junk drawer stuff.) With all the various reasons people cling on to clutter, this emotional attachment is most difficult to beat.


What I am saying is not new to the professional organizers out there. Often the root of the “problem” is fear. The fear of forgetting the beautiful memories associated with the items. It is like an inner voice says that the only way to never let go of those memories is to hold onto all those things. But the items do not hold the memories you cherish…you do. The memories will remain.


Anyway, I wanted to share 6 ways to make your sentimental decluttering or downsizing a little easier….and, perhaps, even feel good about it.


1. Organize the memorabilia.


To make decluttering simpler, start by gathering together all those mementos and little keepsakes and put them all together at one spot. Additionally, empty all closets, drawers, and other storage areas in the house to make sure no keepsakes and mementos pop out later from any place.


2. Begin with what is easier.


Once you have compiled all those items, take a break. I suggest you do not handle everything in one day and work in short intervals. Perhaps setting a timer for half an hour, and so on. When that is all done, head back to the pile with a fresh and rested mind. If you have come across any broken items that are beyond saving, such as a stained dress or a broken lamp from your first marriage, etc. now is the time get rid of those and move on to what you can work with.


3. Sort the items in groups.


It is common for a home’s memorabilia heap to span many generations, comprising of children’s artwork, antiques, handmade blankets, and so on. The ideal approach is to sort out these items into categories or genres such as photographs / postcards, specific collections, antiques, and old files and papers. This approach reduces the possibility of becoming emotionally overwhelmed. It also makes it a game….the match game. Once you have done this, you can tackle one category at a time.


4. Pass on, donate or sell the items you are parting with.