How to Declutter without Throwing Away Memories
Clutter—it brings anxiety, headaches, and annoyance. It eats up space and consumes energy. That’s why experts encourage people to be less messy and get rid of those they don’t need.
However, that’s easier said than done because of mementos. How then can you let go of objects without feeling you’re saying good-bye to pleasant memories? From memorabilia framing to snapping photos, here are a few ideas that can help:
- Do It the Marie Kondo Way
Perhaps the ultimate declutter specialist is Marie Kondo, who teaches people to keep only the things they need. But she acknowledges that those with memories are the hardest to let go. Thus, she devises a method of cleaning stuff:
- Miscellaneous items
- Sentimental things
You need to declutter in this order. As you can see, mementos last for possibly two reasons. One, the way you get rid of the other items will hopefully teach you a thing or two about letting go. Second, you can take your time.
Kondo also advocates saying thank you that you’re getting rid of. In a way, it brings honour to the service these things provide in your life at some point.
- Take a Picture
Why do people hold on to items even if they no longer use them? The answer is simple: these objects now become extensions of memories. To help you cope with that, you might want to take a picture of them before putting them in the donation box.
In a Penn State study, the researchers recommended that students take images of the objects they’d want to donate. Those who did donated 35% more items than the ones who didn’t.
You can then upload these photos on social media, such as Instagram and Facebook. These sites can archive and show them again exactly a year of the upload. Another option is memorabilia framing. You can create a collage and then hang them where you can see them often.
- Frame Them
Taking pictures may sound like an amazing idea, but you may still struggle to say bye-bye to good things? Well, here’s another tip: frame them.
Many companies can now do memorabilia framing of not only photos but also objects. Take, for example, that first sports jersey you wore and the awards you had won through the years. How about those souvenirs you took home from your recent trips to Asian nations?
You can then either display the frames on a console table or, better yet, hang them on the wall. Because of their design and size, they can be great statement pieces for your living room and bedroom.
- Make It Intentional
At times, the best way to let go is to practise intentional living—that is, live your life according to your truth and values. You make decisions that you believe will be good for you in the end.
When you change your mindset to this, then you begin to realise that you are not getting rid of items in vain. They will be a step closer to achieving your dreams or embracing a better life for yourself.
A strong attachment to objects and even memories can sometimes prevent you from moving forward, experiencing new things, or opening yourself to greener opportunities. While letting go isn’t easy, hopefully, these four ideas will help you take the first steps.