I don’t know about you but clutter in my home can make me a crazy woman. A home filled with too many things and an overload of stuff isn’t good for my soul and I would venture to guess yours either.
We all have that friend who has the most put together home where everything has a place and it’s all put away nice and neatly. She never seems bothered by an unexpected guest dropping by or an in home coffee break with a friend. Do you ever wonder how she does it? What are her secrets to a clutter free home?
Over the past couple of years we have been on a mission to live with less clutter and get organized. One thing I realized was the hardest for me and everyone I know was “how to get rid of sentimental clutter?”
The one thing I believe that can cause huge issues where having an organized home is concerned is sentimental clutter. I think there is a way to keep all of the items you love without feeling guilty when you choose not to fill your home with more stuff!
HOW TO GET RID OF SENTIMENTAL CLUTTER:
Ask yourself these three important questions…
- Do I really care about this item?
- Do I have a plan to use it? If so, when and how.
- Do I have a place to put it?
Be careful when offered free things
Never take an item just because it’s free. Don’t accept items you don’t love from family members. Even if it came from your great grandmother or your mothers home. I know it’s hard when the heart is involved but if you do not love it, don’t take it. Ask yourself the questions above! The item MUST bring joy to you and your immediate family. When I read the book, the life-changing magic of tidying up, my entire thought process about clutter changed. I wrote all about how that book started us on our clutter free organized home journey.
The free stuff idea goes both ways. Give away items to someone ONLY if they love it not because you once did. This is a two way street of giving clutter or receiving it.
Use your creativity
We all have that sentimental paper clutter. Letters, cards, kids art, etc. Getting creative with special items is a great way to keep you home neat and tidy. Paper clutter is one of the worst things for me. Keeping it under control is a daily task, except for kids school work and art.
The best thing I started doing years ago was NOT going through the kids work daily or even weekly. I made a special box for each of my kids. As they brought papers home I added everything to the box. Then at the end of the school year I would go through it all at once. It allowed me to see what was more special and get rid of any duplicates. I would toss almost 90% and keep the remaining pieces I loved. I have one Rubbermaid box where I keep these items.
**TIP: Things like children’s art work needs a little special treatment. Take photos of everything and make a photo book. Frame the most special one’s but all of the rest can be made into a book.
Same goes with special shirts. Both of my kids have some sentimental pieces hanging on their walls.
Clutter is a family choice
Make sure that you are taking each family member into consideration when you get rid of clutter. In this case, I mean those who live in your home. There are times when you will want to part with an item but someone else doesn’t. Go over the above questions again. You both must be able to answer the questions in order to keep or get rid of an item. I have found that it is never helpful to tell my kids or my husband I think their item is junk. They need to make that decision on their own. Don’t give them any indication of how you feel or they may go the opposite way in order to feel in control.
Once you decide what things to let go of feel good about yourself. Use these tips to pass along those items to someone else who may love them. If not, donate them ASAP! Your home will be happier and so will you.
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