Decluttering Sentimentals

It’s hard to let go of sentimental items. Everyone I talk to about minimalism and decluttering has admitted that, even though they want the space and lack of clutter in their life. I actually managed to get rid of a lot of sentimental things last year when I went through my dad’s stuff and only kept a very few items, like his coach shirt from when I played softball.

Lately, it’s been more of a “I just don’t want to get rid of this because I like it” and that had me at a standstill. I mean, you can say “I like it and I want to keep it” about pretty much anything you own. You did buy it, after all. Then you may have added some sort of sentimental tag to it and you’ll say it over and over while it weighs on your mind.

That’s been my problem. My most recent round of decluttering was to finally go over to our shelf that displays a lot of our “pretty” things (like my Willowtree collection) and pull out the things I didn’t want to keep. I kept a Precious Moments snowglobe to give to one of the kids but decided to donate a plastic one I paid $3 for in a souvenir shop. (Actually, Noah is playing with it for now because he’s never really used a snowglobe before but it’s going to be donated.)

I decided to share a few examples. You can see my progress from about 15 minutes of work. Imagine all of these items together and then think about how much space I’ve cleared up to devote to things we care about more!

I bought this because I thought it was pretty and then kept it, intending to give it to a future daughter. Now I have a daughter and the cup set is cracked. Whoops.

I don’t think these are sake cups but I’m not sure. I used them to hold random trinkets – trinkets I no longer have.

A glass cat I just kind of ended up with. I loved it and kept it because it reminded me of my huge cat, Omega, but the ear is chipped and Omega lives with someone else now. This figurine might actually cause more pain than happiness, so off it goes.

I bought this at Goodwill once, intending to use it for jewelry. Well, I have a jewelry box and very little jewelry as it is, so this has been on a bookshelf since I bought it.

To tell you the truth, I don’t remember where this came from. When my dad died, it ended up back in my possession, so I never let it go. I’d look at it and say, “I could declutter that!” but then I would pause, think of the sentiment and keep it. No need, any more.

I bought this little cat faux painting at a thrift store when I was 11 or so. I kept it for so long because I like the idea of it and I had it sitting in my bathroom at my dad’s apartment when I was a preteen but it’s been over a decade, now. Time to let it go.

So you see, I kept a lot of this stuff simply because I “wanted” to, but now that I’ve made the decision to let it go, I don’t actually miss any of it. I also found that by getting through this hurdle, I’ve broken past my block and I can continue purging stuff that I no longer want to keep. I’m still learning to look past, “but I like this” and go to, “do I like something else better?” I actually learned that lesson from helping Noah go through his plushies!

(The park entry will have to wait. I apparently have 200+ pictures to wade through before I can post any. Thanks to terminal and Joshua, I can re-size them all at once with a simple command, so that won’t make me drag my feet at least.)