Podcast Episode 96 — How to Declutter Without Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Things

It’s ok to keep things. Really.

Lisa Sealey

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Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Today I want to talk about decluttering and sentimental things.

One of the questions I get asked the most is what to do when you need to declutter but have things you don’t want to part with. This is a valid question. Many pro-declutter people will tell you to get rid of everything that doesn’t bring you happiness. Sometimes, though, you have things that mean something to you, or your family, that don’t mainly make you ecstatic when you see them. So what do you do?

First, understand that it’s ok to keep things.

Yes, even if you’re trying to declutter. The trick is to do it smartly.

Here’s what I mean:

If you have your children’s artwork, essential documents, and old papers that are taking up space, consider using a scanner and a cloud-based storage system or a flash drive just for those important things. Scan and upload them, and you will never lose them. Make sure you only do this for what is essential to avoid digital clutter. Consider creating a photo book from your scanned and uploaded images for the kids' stuff. It makes a lovely keepsake that doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Once you’ve done that, decide if you still need to keep the originals. If you don’t, shred them. Keep them in a locking file cabinet or fireproof safe if you do.

Other things you can declutter are movies and music.

If you’re like me, you have movies and music that have significantly impacted your life. You also have some of that music in several or various formats (in my life, I’ve had 8-tracks, vinyl, cassettes, and CDs before we got to MP3s and streaming). Of course, you want to keep the music and movies that are important to you. But if you need to free up space, why keep those items around in a tangible form? The individual boxes and cases are small, but when you put them together, they take up a great deal of space. Instead, put what you want to keep online and donate or sell those old DVDs and CDs. You will still have access to your collection, just not in physical form.

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Lisa Sealey

Hi, I’m Lisa. | Organizing | Planning | Time Management | Productivity | Life | Sign up for updates, tips, info, and freebies: www.lisasealey.com/newsletter