Minimalism | Sentimental Items


I think one of the biggest obstacles people face when decluttering is going through and discarding sentimental items. Those sentimental items could be gifts from friends or loved ones, handed-down family heirlooms, or letters and event tickets. Many people don't want to get rid of these things out of a feeling of guilt, and I totally understand that - I'm a huge sentimental person. I have a small 5x7 box containing just a few letters,  small objects that spark certain memories, and ballet tickets that I don't plan on letting go of anytime soon. I have quite a few antiques or other things that have been handed down from family that I also don't plan on getting rid of ever. But here's the one thing about it: I actually want to keep those things because they bring me joy.

I won't lie though, I have donated gifts that no longer bring productive use or joy. People give gifts with the intention of bringing the recipient happiness, and if the gift no longer brings you happiness, it no longer serves the original intent. Does this make sense? Here's how I look at this whole sentimental minimalism obstacle: if you have "sentimental" items that don't bring you joy and are more of a burden than anything else, don't keep them. Don't feel guilty like you have to keep something because someone gave it to you. Photographs and letters can always be scanned into digital form. And not only that, but you really don't need those things to hold onto your memories.

I guess what I'm getting at is, don't hold onto memorable handed-down items that feel like a heavy burden by holding onto them, but in doing so, you feel as though you're preserving the past and holding onto memories. Don't keep gifts that just collect dust and feel like extra baggage out of guilt. If you truly like having those things around and they aren't overfilling your space, it's not against any rules to hold onto them. Just truly evaluate why you're holding onto them.

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