Sometimes letting go of sentimental stuff is hard. In this post I’m going to share with you why it’s hard to let go and what you can do about it. Keep reading!
When I was in fifth grade, my teacher gave me an ivory-colored stuffed teddy bear. It was wearing a green dress with white lace around the bottom.
The thought of getting rid of that bear when I got older made me feel so guilty. This teacher took the time to go out and purchase a teddy bear just for me. She spent her time and money on me.
And it was more than just the time and money; it was the fact that she thought and cared enough about me to do something so special.
I could never let go of that teddy bear, even though it just sat on my bed and later stored in my closet. When I moved out the bear came with me and now my daughter has the bear sitting on her shelf.
Why do we have the hardest time letting go of sentimental stuff?
Why letting go of sentimental stuff is hard to do
- Emotionally attached:
Sometimes your emotions take over and you start feeling attached to your stuff. When you think of the items you have that you have an emotional attachment to, they often represent an important relationship, accomplishment, or experience. However, holding on to the stuff might actually be keeping you from having new relationships, accomplishments, and experiences.
Oftentimes, guilt gets in the way of letting go of sentimental stuff (as in the case with my teddy bear). Perhaps someone has given you a family heirloom and you feel obligated to keep it. Maybe you were given a gift from a friend that you feel guilty for getting rid of. You may also feel guilty about getting rid of something because of how much money you spent on it or because the item is still in perfectly good useable condition.
- Representing the past:
It is so easy to hold on to stuff from your past life. For example, I have a lot of craft items stored away that haven’t been touched in years. Maybe you used to have a hobby that you loved in the past but haven’t enjoyed it for years. Chances are you’re not going to pick it up again.
- Waiting for “someday”
More than likely “someday” has been dragging on for years and it’s not ever going to come. Don’t hold on to things just because you think you’ll pick it up again one day.
How to let it go
- Acknowledge what’s worth holding on to
While going through your items, ask yourself what exactly it is that you’re sentimental about. More than likely it’s not the object itself, but the person, time, or place it’s associated with. The memory will still be there even without the object, but if you just cannot part with the object, then there’s nothing wrong with keeping it.
- Save an item virtually
Documents and photos can be scanned and backed up as long as you don’t need the originals. Toys do not need to be saved, either as long as you have photos of your kids playing with them. Or consider making a photo book to keep memories in.
- Donate notable items
Do your research before you get rid of documents or photos that you received after the death of a loved one. Depending on who they were and where they live, the documents valuable to a local history museum.
- Pass it on
Consider handing over unwanted family heirlooms to another relative because they might be happy to keep it in the family. Also, it might just be something they’ve always wanted.
- Put it in a box
After the death of a loved one, put their things in boxes marked with question marks and save them to sort through after grieving. Give yourself at least 6 months or longer before sorting through the box.
- Tell its story
Grab a friend to help with sorting through things. Sometimes it helps just to tell someone the story behind the item and it may also help let it go.
Keep in mind that all the stuff doesn’t define who you are. Pass things along that you no longer need and hold onto the memories. It’s time to start a new chapter.
And remember: you can’t take it with you when you die.
What’s something you’re holding onto that your’re finding hard to let go of?
Be sure to check out these great posts on getting your bedroom
cleaned and organized:
Getting Rid of Dresser Drawer Clutter
Upcycle Your Old Clothing Instead of Throwing it Away
10 Best Organizers for Your Bedroom
11 Things You’re Forgetting to Clean in Your Bedroom
Bedroom Organizing Ideas That Will Work for Anyone
Cleaning Your Mattress the Right Way
Organizing a Small Closet on a Budget
Deep Clean Your Master Bedroom
How to Maximize the Storage Space Under Your Bed
Clean Your Bedroom in Just 15 Minutes