How to: De-clutter Sentimental Items

How hard is it for you to get rid of sentimental stuff?  It’s really hard for me.  I might not even like something but because it reminds me of someone or some experience in my past, I want to keep it.  Luckily, my dad taught me a little de-cluttering trick:

Take a picture.

It’s the easiest way to part with something that you truly love because in some small way, a part of that item is still with you.  It’s perfect:  a picture takes up less space, and – this is my favorite part – it doesn’t have to be dusted.

Here’s one of the items I took a picture of last May before we moved to Germany.  I remember making these bookends out of red clay in my grandma’s basement as a young girl.  My dad helped me hollow them out, and we fired them in a kiln.  Over the years, I just couldn’t part with them no matter how hard I tried.


So I took a picture.  One year later, I couldn’t be happier.  I can have my old bookends with me wherever we live, and I don’t have to pack them into my suitcase.  I just pull them from our digital file system where we keep photos, movies, and paperwork.

If you have more tips for de-cluttering sentimental items, I think we might all love to hear.