Cherish Memories without the Clutter

http://www.sodamndomestic.com/Recently I have taken on a 30-day clutter free challenge, a much needed project as my mom has decided to empty out our storage unit and I find myself in the midst of a move again. For the last few years most of my possessions have resided in a Public Storage unit. You see I’ve moved more times than can be counted on both my hands.

I have always been a little bit on the messy side, especially when packing started to be a regular thing. At times I literally just scooped up a pile or flipped a drawer upside down into a cardboard box. Although many items whether jumbled up or placed nicely inside were things I cherished, not all of them were.

At the beginning of November I came to face the clutter I had collected over the years and promised myself that I would not allow the clutter to follow me once more. I started to continuously declutter item by item on November 1 and will remain doing so until the end of the month. A long process I’ll shed more light on in a future post.

For now I want to focus on my process of decluttering those items often described as “sentimental,” the ones that can be the lead cause of clutter around you. We are many times controlled by our emotions. We are lead to believe that we must keep items because of the cherished memories or family traditions they may represent.

I truly believe that there is no shame in holding onto certain items that you cherish, especially when the item itself brings you vast amount of joy or finds frequent use in your home. I confess that I have a habit of over collecting items associated with memories I hold dear to my heart. As I sift through items I have found napkins, wrappers, silly photos of nothing or everything and more. (I can’t be the only one right?) At one time I thought that collecting these items kept the memory alive. Yet, our memories are felt in our hearts and in our minds. The truly cherished memories are remembered even without touching that special item.

Important revelations I discovered through this process which have helped me part with the many items I once “cherished.”

  1. You are not your stuff.
  2. Your things do not define you
  3. You don’t have “stuff” to keep your cherished memoriesquote-8-1024x768
  4. None of it goes with you when your life is over
  5. Display your memories daily and not just in a box
  6. Do not keep items by feelings of obligation
  7. Sometimes gift giving is an easier way to let go of things we love by giving them to people we love or giving in a loving way
I must admit that many of these truths were brought to my attention (thankfully) by Emily over at So Damn Domestic.

I strongly encourage you to try a declutter overhaul at least once and let go of those items that may be collecting dust and taking up space. You most likely have many items in your home that can be weighing you down emotionally or physically. Don’t feel shame in letting go items that once shared cherished moments with you.

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Here are some items I came across that I cherish:

  • My favorite Disney Princesses movies in VHS: The Little Mermaid + Cinderella
  • Goosebumps books
  • Beanie Babies
  • Greeting Cards from friends and family
  • Cookbooks
  • Books I love (Stephen King especially)
  • Movies I love and watch frequently
  • Photos
  • Scrapbooks

Do you find there is a difference between cleaning and de-cluttering?

What are some items you cherish and for what reasons?

Today’s post was inspired by DebRuns Word Wednesday Today’s word is Cherish
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8 thoughts on “Cherish Memories without the Clutter

  1. Dear Caroline, what a nice blog 🙂
    We all keep stuff that are memories ,i have a whole box with Posters, entrycards from Festival and Partys i visited .
    But someday i will throw it a way to move Further.
    Somethings are a Bad memorie on the Moment,but sometimes i look back and think how i changed 🙂

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    • I still have many movie and concert tickets saved! I think they are something I can’t part with. Many of the items I’ve gone through the memories were once great, but sometimes people go out of our lives and the memories don’t hold that same feeling of joy as they did before.

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  2. Husband and I are downsizing and decluttering a lifetime of stuff. Niether one of us shops and we are not hoarders, but we have saved items from family and travels judiciously. Even so, we have 2,800 of my favorite books over the years, shelves of items brought back from years of traveling with family and ourselves, and family memento’s from reminders of parents who have passed, kindergarten treasured macaroni necklaces through to grandchildren’s gifts. It’s a lot and everything means something. So, I toss, without looking because if I pause and think I save. If it’s really important I take a picture and hold onto the memento that way.

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    • I agree, I had to really detach myself from the items themselves when I was clearing items out. I needed to avoid reminiscing, otherwise I would have kept more than I needed! Taking a picture is an excellent idea!

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  3. As a mom of young adult men, I have so many “things” I cherish from their childhood. I have a “special box” (large Rubbermaid container) for each of them. In those boxes, I have pieces of artwork, report cards, arts and crafts projects etc. I always thought those boxes were more special to me than to them until I saw my son pull his box out to let his fiancée (now wife) look through it. Seeing that was yet another moment I cherish!

    Thanks for linking up!

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    • Very cute! I don’t have kids yet so I can’t really understand the feeling. But I actually ran into some of my own report cards and art works that took some time to part with. Its nice to look back, but moving into a small space now I had to really downsize and figure out what were the real important, useful things that truly brought me joy.

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