When it comes to downsizing sentimental items, it can be REALLY hard.
Especially for moms.
There are so many little things that remind us of those sweet little moments with our kids that sometimes feel impossible to part with.
In this post, you will find a few helpful tips and ideas on Overcoming The Need To Keep Sentimental Items.
You know those times when you are on a steady decluttering spree and feeling really great about downsizing….
….then you stumble on an item or maybe even a box of items that spark an emotional response?
And you get that feeling of wanting to keep it because it’s so special, but also wanting to get rid of it because well, throughout the years the amount of “sentimental items” accumulated is impressive.
For me, it was a box full of random baby stuff from my first daughters birth.
I had accumulated a significant amount of random things like hospitals wrist bands, multiple ultrasound photos, pieces of newborn clothing, hats, and toys.
I loved seeing all these items but had to face the realization that I had moved that exact box across the country three different times and never even looked in it.
It had to go, at least some of it.
and here’s how I Overcome the need to keep sentimental Items
Mind Over Matter
A huge part of overcoming the fear of getting rid of sentimental items is changing your mindset and how you view/feel about them.
In the whole scope of life, things really are just things. I’m not saying things don’t matter, they certainly do. Heck, I like my warm sweater and cozy home.
But In real life, it’s not even about the “things” that spark that sentimental feeling. It’s the person it reminds you of.
Learn to find joy in what you have right in front of you or create photos albums of the people that are dearest to you.
I would much rather hold my four-year-old or gaze at one of her newborn photos than go through a box of random things that remind me of her.
Ask yourself…”Exactly why am I sentimental about this item? Most of the time, it’s not necessarily the object as much as the memories and people associated with it.
Donate The Item To Someone Who Would Find Value In It
If the item is something that was once special but you no longer have use for, gift it. I gave my favorite coffee mug, and a dress my kids loved to a close friend and it makes me so happy every time I see someone getting good use out of it.
Refuse To Be Held Captive By Gifts
It’s really awkward to get a gift you don’t exactly like. Then there’s the guilt of feeling ungrateful by not enjoying it.
The truth is, you shouldn’t be held captive by things that other people give you that you don’t even really want. It doesn’t even make any sense.
You can be grateful and not feel pressured to keep the item.
Pass any unwanted gifts along to someone you think would find value in it.
It’s important to remember this when the tables are turned. Don’t take offense if someone donates an item you gave them.
Let Go Of Living In The Past
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
― C.S. Lewis
I always hear moms talk about “when their babies were young”, and “treasure every minute”, and “the years are short”.
I’ve even seen moms fall into a depression when their kids get older and talk about how much better the time was when they were babies.
There is something about the past that is seen through rose-colored glasses. But God promises a better future for us.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Bringing the attachment to sentimental items into a biblical perspective gives us so much hope for our future. Don’t waste it by longing for the past.
While these really are the good years, I can’t help but believe that there is so much more waiting ahead for us. It may just need a bit of a change in your perspective.
Identify Why You Are Keeping Items
Become very intentional about each item in your home and why you are keeping it.
If you are keeping it because it….
- Holds Sentimental Value
- Someone Gave It To You
- You Think You Should Keep It
Aren’t valid reasons for holding onto things.
My husband is prior military and we moved seven times in seven years. I cannot even tell you how many things I hauled cross country and swore I needed every time I packed and unpacked it. But never used even once.
Keeping stuff for the wrong reasons will lead you down a path of being run by and controlled by things. It starts small and before you know it you are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your life.
Allow Yourself To Keep A Limited Amount Of Sentimental Items
Some people tend to have a tighter grasp on physical things than others. I think it’s partly a generational gap but also has to do with personalities and ultimately the habits you’ve created.
If you are someone who truly loves and enjoys keeping and going through sentimental items, follow these guidelines below to keep them to a minimum. After all, less is more, right?
- Take a photo of the item and create a “sentimental items” album
- Allow yourself to keep one or two items and create a “sentimental Items” box
- Repurpose The Item – Create a blanket out of clothes your kids have outgrown
Remember when it comes to decluttering sentimental items, the hardest part is overcoming your mindset.
Learn to live in the present and enjoy every second you have with your people.
Don’t feel obligated to keep gifts you don’t want, and become extremely intentional about not only what you bring in your home, but why you are still holding on to it.
May Your Coffee Be Stronger Than Your Toddler