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10 Steps to Declutter Sentimental Items

Why is it so hard to let go of sentimental items?

Sentimental items hold a special place in our hearts. They are reminders of cherished memories, loved ones, and significant moments in our lives. It's no wonder that parting with these items can be incredibly difficult. However, decluttering sentimental items is an important step towards creating a more organized and peaceful living space. Here are 10 steps to help you navigate this emotional process:

1. Set a clear goal

Before you begin decluttering, define your goal. Do you want to downsize, create more space, or simply organize your sentimental items? Having a clear objective will help you stay focused throughout the process.

2. Start with less emotionally charged items

Begin by decluttering items that hold less emotional weight. This will help you build momentum and gain confidence in your decision-making abilities.

3. Create categories

Sort your sentimental items into categories such as: photographs, letters, trinkets, or clothing. This will make the decluttering process more manageable and allow you to assess each category individually.

How to declutter Sentimental Items: Storage/categorizing baskets

4. Assess the value

Ask yourself if the item truly adds value to your life. Does it bring you joy or serve a practical purpose? If not, it may be time to let go.

5. Consider the space it occupies

Take into account the physical space the item occupies in your home. Is it taking up valuable storage space or causing clutter? If so, it might be worth considering letting it go. Aside from the physical space you will be freeing up, also consider the visual clutter you are removing and much better your space becomes! 

6. Take photos as keepsakes

If you're struggling to part with an item, consider taking a photograph of it instead. This way, you can still preserve the memory without the physical clutter. Smaller items that you plan to keep can easily be stored in keepsake boxes that double as decor:

How to declutter sentimental items: Photo boxes / keepsake boxes

7. Share the sentimental items

If appropriate, consider sharing sentimental items with loved ones who may appreciate them. This way, the item can continue to be cherished and bring joy to someone else's life.

8. Set limits

Allocate a specific amount of space for your sentimental items. Once that space is full, you'll need to make decisions about what to keep and what to let go. 

9. Take breaks and be patient

Decluttering sentimental items can be emotionally draining. Take breaks when needed and be patient with yourself. It's okay to feel a range of emotions throughout the process.

How to declutter sentimental items: Calming tea box

10. Celebrate your progress

After decluttering sentimental items, take a moment to celebrate your progress. Acknowledge the emotional weight you've lifted and the space you've created for new memories with the people you love the most. 


Remember, decluttering sentimental items is a personal journey. Take your time, trust your instincts, and be kind to yourself throughout the process. By letting go of what no longer serves you, you'll create space for new experiences and memories to come.

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