If you find it hard to part with sentimental clutter I have a plan that may help. The thing that is important to people when it comes to items of sentimental clutter is the memories they evoke and not so much the actual item itself. So I have two suggestions. The first one is simple.
Take digital images of your sentimental items, load them onto your computer and then declutter them. Include the image as part of your screen saver file so that whenever your computer goes into hibernation these memory triggers will flash up to remind you of precious loved ones, places and events in your life.
The second suggestion is to look at the item in question and think about what or who it reminds you of. Then think about what comes to mind regarding this person, place or event. Next step is to link those memories to everyday happenings that could easily evoke the same memories. For example…
An object that reminds me of my mother will bring up images for me of her laughing. I know that whenever I see someone uproariously laughing I always think of my mother. Cooking and sewing also remind me of my mother as does the shape of my mouth and some of my behavioural traits. I encounter all these things on a regular basis therefore I have no need of physical reminders collecting dust in my home.
For my father I only have to be working on a project and putting my all into it. My dad always says “A job worth doing is worth doing well.”. Kangaroos remind me of my father as do cars (he worked in the automotive industry). As you can imagine these things affords me plenty of opportunities to think fondly of my dad and all the things I learned from him.
Seeing photos, artworks, documentaries etc. of places I have been remind me of my travels as does hearing names and accents specific to these places. Australia is multicultural enough that I am constantly reminded of my adventures in other parts of the globe without feeling the need to acquire souvenirs.
So give it go. Match the things you wish to remember to everyday things that don’t waste space in your home. You will be surprised how much more often you think of these things in the future. As I right this Jamie Oliver is on an ad on TV, this reminds my of my vacation in the UK.
For further inspiration to let go of sentimental items read the following links to so great comments by your fellow readers.
Todays post was inspired by this comment form Alicia. I immediately wanted to assure her that there are lots of memory triggers out there that will remind her of her friend without needing to possess physical reminders.
Then Andréia left this comment which summed up what I was thinking quite nicely. Andréia also left this comment that inspired this week’s mini missions. She is living proof of how a person can change their ways when it comes to clutter.
Rebecca also left this great comment explaining how she is paring down her mementoes.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter a family heirloom you possibly never really liked. Give it to another member of the family. Last week I gave my Grandmother’s engagement ring to my sister. I like it but I rarely wear it, however I am sure that she will.
Eco Tip for the Day
Don’t throw away that old electric kettle or use harsh cleaners on it because it is all stained inside. Fill it with cold water, add a lemon wedge and bring to the boil, that stain will miraculously disappear.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow