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Q: “How Do I Get Rid of My Sentimental Clutter?”

Q: “I am decluttering but having a hard time parting with my kids’ artwork, bric-a-brac from my late mother, and other mementos. What should I do? Rent a storage unit, or just live with these items?”A: Heavens! Do not rent a storage unit. This will be cumulatively expensive in both finances and labor (emotional and the “bills-to-pay” variety).When it comes to weeding out nostalgic items, keep in mind these three questions:[Read This Next: The Ultimate Room-by-Room Organization Guide]A former client of mine was holding onto a six-foot roll of linoleum left over from the first house she owned.

She took the “size matters” decree to heart, and cut one square inch from the roll. We stored this in an “Object Memorabilia” box along with other small mementos. As you consider size, prioritize sentimental items that are small — or find a way to shrink them.In terms of kids’ artwork, this means letting go of the dioramas, ceramics, and posters (after taking photos) — and housing the best of the rest in a box called “Paper Memorabilia.”As for gifts and bric-a-brac, it is the thought that counts.

I’m certain that your mother would be appalled to think she had eternally yoked you to an item that doesn’t fit your needs or taste. If you wouldn’t buy it yourself today, honor her love for you by refusing to turn her gifts into your burden.And as you process, consider whether you have an appropriate home for any item. If you like your mom’s end table, keep it and get rid of your current one.

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