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THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES 300 X300Ah... memories! Are your memories attached to things? Remember the time you took that trip to Florida (which now are stored in many trinkets you got on that trip all those other trips), the smell of grandma’s home (which is now stored in your kitchen, full of her old baking pans and utensils), the way little Johnny looked in those sweet little overalls (which are now stored in your basement in a box with other sweet clothes of your kids)

I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful senior lady the other day, helping her unpack and settle into her new bachelor apartment at a senior’s home. She had gone through several transitions over the past year from having an unexpected move from her home into a 2-bedroom apartment and then only a few short months late having to move again to this new location due to illness.

I was reminded about how we collect a lot of our memories in ‘things’ but at some point we cannot physically keep it all, and we don’t always know when that time will come for us. As I unpacked her worldly possessions she reminisced about how she had gone from 75 boxes (her first move) to only a few boxes and possessions…each precious piece she kept had a story and memory behind it and I was regaled with stories as I unpacked. But the one thing she kept mentioning was how relieved she was to not have to deal with 75 boxes this time around.

Our houses are being overrun by the past, by the physical reminders of these precious memories we can’t seem to let go of. This includes the aforementioned travel trinkets, pictures, old dishes, children's clothes, family heirlooms, and more. And these things are all being stored in boxes, bags, in totes, on shelves, in cupboards – anywhere and everywhere in our homes. 80% of them never seeing the light of day until it's time to move.

I always ask clients to think about how they are honoring the memories of this stuff if they are shoving it in a closet and complaining about it being in the way. How much space do you really need to live? How much stuff do you really need and use? Are you surround yourself with yesteryear’s trinkets and sentimental clutter? Are your memories attached to things?

If you are ready to release some of this sentimental clutter and downsize for your life today here are some tips: 


7 TIPS ON LETTING GO OF SENTIMENTAL CLUTTER:

  1. TAKE A PICTURE - the digital footprint takes up a lot less space than keeping the actual item.

  2. SAVE ONE TO REPRESENT MANY - If you have a collection of similar items pick a favorite to keep the memory alive. A single favorite baby outfit, One of the teacups from your grandma’s collection or a Mickey Mouse from all your Disney visits.

  3. GIVE IT NEW LIFE BY GIVING YOUR STUFF TO SOMEONE ELSE - Give your stuff new life by giving them to someone else. Think about how you honor the items by giving them away- if you have too many tables, dishes and useful things that other people need, are you allowing them to fulfill their role by keeping them hidden in your basement taking up space but not being used.

  4. TAKE TIME FOR THE MEMORIES - Take a stroll down memory lane, just don't get lost there.  Take a minute to reminisce and be sentimental. Say a little thank you for the memories and good times and then let it go.

  5. RELEASE THE NEGATIVE ENERGY - If it has bad memories…get it out of your space! If you look at the object and all you can think of is memories that make you sad, mad, resentful or any other negative emotion then let it go. Life is too precious and short to get lost in the negative sentiments. 

  6. CRY IF YOU WANT TO - Understand that feeling sad and wanting to cry is a normal part of the process. Embrace the feelings, let them flow and then let it go. It is all part of mourning the release of a cherished item.

  7. BE OPEN TO HELP - Be understanding with yourself if you cannot do it alone. Sometimes we all need someone to help us through tough times, get someone who is understanding, compassionate but cans still challenge you to help you move past the sentimental attachment and see your stuff as stuff! If you don’t have someone like this in your life, then give me a call…it is my passion to help people gently move through this process and release their clutter.

Letting go of sentimental clutter can be an emotionally draining process, but in the end can be freeing.  Sometimes circumstances force us to take action like my client, but I like to think we can make these choices on our own terms before it is too late.  Releasing what you no longer need, clearing your space for living in the NOW and as a bonus ensuring the burden of clearing out all those memories do not get passed down to our loved ones.