Clutter here, clutter there, clutter absolutely everywhere. When you’re going through
clothes that you’re ready to donate, it’s pretty easy to pick-through those items that look
like they haven’t been touched this century.
When it’s time to clean out the junk drawer, you might be more than willing to ditch that
tangled horde of cords that seem to have no place in your home.
But when it comes to keepsakes, our ability to clear the clutter seems to waver.
Whether it’s your daughter’s macaroni necklace she crafted for you at her third grade
Thanksgiving party or your great grandmother’s collection of China, eventually you’ll
realize that you simply can’t hold on to every little thing.
Now, I’m not telling you to throw out those family heirlooms or heartfelt handmade
items. But, I would love to encourage you to create better systems so that these pieces
keep a solid place in your heart, but not necessarily on your dining room table.
So, what to keep and what to toss?
The first thing you’ll want to consider is how much the items truly mean to you. Though
it’s tough to part ways with something that is meant to be so important, no one else can
make this decision for you.
If you’re holding onto family collectibles, the first question to ask yourself is, “why?”
Do you have a distant memory of gazing at these items when you were younger? Did
you and a family member have a special bond over these pieces?
Or, are you holding onto them out of obligation?
If you look at the item and get that warm feeling of remembrance that washes over you,
then it sounds like this is a special keepsake that will always have a place in your heart.
However, if you look at the items and don’t feel anything. That’s totally ok! It’s not your
responsibility to hold onto someone else’s memories. It’s probably time to part ways.
Collect & Coordinate
Now that you’ve sorted through the items that bring you joy, you can start putting time
and energy into preserving those hand-picked pieces so they’ll be around for years to
If you’re one to collect ticket stubs, invites, or even wedding announcements, building a
beautiful scrapbook is a wonderful way to protect these fragile keepsakes.
The best part of a scrapbook is that you can keep it neatly stowed away on a bookshelf
or in a closet until you want to take that special trip down memory lane.
Are you the family historian with a solid record of photographs that most people forgot
even existed? To be able to easily store and share these frozen moments in time, all
you have to do is spend an hour at your local office supply store!
By scanning these photos and turning them into digital files, you never have to worry
about water or sun damaging these one-of-a-kind photographs. Plus, you can organize
them on an external hard drive that’s safely housed in a drawer or cabinet for
And when it comes to clothing pieces that need protection, create a designated space in
a closet where you can store these keepsakes in a preservation box with mothballs.
As you can see, it’s so important to carve out a specialized space. Not only does it
create a thoughtful ritual every time you pull out these items, but it also helps declutter
your home so that a heartfelt memory doesn’t end up feeling like another piece of junk.
If you have items lying around that don’t bring you joy, consider passing them onto
another household that might find a better use for them.
Organizing your space won’t happen in a day. But by taking the time to ensure
everything in your home brings you happiness, you’ll start to notice that all the
goodness is in the details.
Annie Kilbride is the CEO of Life Simplified, LLC a professional organizing business.