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How To Let Go of Sentimental Items

Throughout our lives, we accumulate sentimental items, gifts we never used, and objects we thought we’d use one day. Then the day comes when we know it’s time to pare down. Whether you’re downsizing or feeling overwhelmed, letting go of your sentimental items can make your life easier. Holding onto sentimental items takes up valuable space and can even have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Luckily, the journey of letting go doesn’t have to be difficult, rather it can bring feelings of peace and accomplishment. According to Psychology Today, people that declutter and organize their belongings report feeling energized, more confident and reduced stress and anxiety.

Senior Downsizing Advice

Making the Decision

What is your intention for wanting to let go?  Deciding to let go of sentimental items is about adjusting your mindset.  It’s the attachment we have to each item that prevents us from letting it go because the item doesn’t hold the memory, we do!  There is no dishonor in letting go of the birthday card, trophy or prom dress. When in doubt, take a picture of it.  Donating aunt Linda’s porcelain lamp will not diminish the relationship you had with her or bring her back. If you find yourself losing focus or feeling guilty, think about why you’ve made this decision and the positive results that will come from it.

Senior Downsizing Advice

Preparing

Once you’ve committed to letting go you’re almost ready to take action!  Before you start pulling out boxes, we want you to ask yourself some key questions.  You may even want to keep a print out of these handy. We promise it will help you maintain perspective on what you should keep and what you should let go. 

  • If it’s something inherited, ask yourself “would I actually buy this item?”
  • If it was a gift ask yourself “do I like or use this item?”
  • Is keeping this item necessary to remembering the moment/experience?
  • Do I truly feel sentimental about this item?
  • Is there another family member or friend that can use this item?
  • Does this item bring back the person or experience?
  • Do I really need to hold on to this or can I take a picture of it?
  • Do I like it enough to display it?
Senior Downsizing Advice

Letting Go

It’s normal to feel emotional during this process so try to remind yourself, you are not your belongings and when in doubt, simply take a picture of it.  Let’s put “letting go” into action! To start, you’ll want 4 containers for the following:

  1. Donate  
  2. Throw away 
  3. Give to a family member or friend 
  4. Keep

You can tackle this 2 different ways.  Dive right in and get it done. Or take it bit-by-bit, room by room, box by box, or a certain number of things or minutes per day.  Choose the approach that will set you up for success!

Your Minneapolis & St. Paul Senior Downsizing Expert

We hope these tips bring you the relief and the satisfaction of having more space and less to worry about! 

However, if help is what you need, contact Spaces Reinvented.  Based in the Twin Cities, Spaces Reinvented can assist you with downsizing related tasks such as sorting, organizing, and deciding what will fit in your existing or new home. We also offer interior design and home staging services. Simply put, we love transforming spaces from ordinary to extraordinary! Contact us today to design your perfect downsized living space!

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