Keepsake clutter can be very overwhelming. Besides the normal feeling of not knowing where to begin, you also have an emotional attachment to the item or guilt. So instead of getting rid of items, you keep it all. Does this sound familiar? These items can add up over the course of your child’s early years, then add grandparents or parent’s stuff to the mix and now you have a house full of items you don’t use and can’t emotional get rid of.
What is Keepsake Clutter?
Items you are keeping for someone else in the hopes that someday they may want it or appreciate it. Or gifts that have been gifted to you and kept out of guilt.
Let’s talk about what you should do with keepsake clutter (aka sentimental clutter).
Set rules around what you are going to keep. Setting rules for myself has made it so much easier to decide what I should keep and what I should let go of. For example, school work, if it does not have a hand/foot print or centered around a holiday I don’t’ keep it. Check out this blog I wrote on organizing school projects.
For clothing I keep only the outfits I absolutely loved and I feel like I could pass down. I am pretty ruthless on this. I have the kids hospital outfits and only a handful of other items. Like my daughter’s first recital costume.
This also applies to things given to you by others. Setting rules will help you feel less guilty about getting rid of items. You must love it and willing to use it in your home. For example, my dad gave me this canister that he loved and really wanted me to have. So it sits on my count with wooden spoons in it that I use every day. If I was going to keep it I needed to use it, not hide it in a closet.
Assign each family member a “memory box”. You want to aim to never exceed that box. In my box I have my childhood baby blanket, class ring, yearbooks and a few other things that are important to me. When you think about putting 18 years of your kids stuff in one bin you prioritize if it is really worth keeping.
Learn to say no. You can do this nicely. And remember if they really loved it they wouldn’t be giving it to you. If you have a family member that loves to give you random things, instead give them a hunt for items you actually need. Now you are receiving things you need instead of items you have no idea what to do with. In my personal experience this has worked out much better than getting things I don’t need.
Don’t let keepsakes and gifts become a burden in your home. Your time is valuable and should not be spent maintaining others clutter. You should spend it doing what you love with the ones you love.