Camera and pocket watch on hardwood background

You may have items in your home that have a lot of sentiment attached. They do not serve any purpose, and may not fit into your current life. But you hold onto them anyway. Year after year, they lurk in the depths of your closet, at the bottom of a storage box, or collecting dust on display. You just can’t quite let go of these items – though they present an inconvenience. There is further incentive to remove these items: research shows that clutter has an impact on our moods, making us more stressed. So what is there to do with these memories you just can’t throw away?

1. Seeing it through fresh eyes

Coffee cup and travel catalogue

You may have gotten used to how things are, and can’t find the right approach to making them different. If your valuables have always been stored in the same place, you get used to that, even if that place is inconvenient. After a trip away, however, things may present themselves in a new light. If you are returning from a holiday, look at your house through fresh eyes. While you were gone, did you miss the items that take up space in your home? Or perhaps it is time to get rid of them, refreshing your space. It can be hard to let go. Read on for ways to make the decision easier.

2. Get a second opinion

Grayscale photo of woman drinking coffee with man

We all have that friend who tell us their thoughts in an honest and considered way. Or at least, one who may help steer us in the right direction. Invite them over and sort through your items together. Ask for their advice on whether something should stay or go. Their point of view may help you realise which items are truly worth holding onto, and which are only taking up space.

 

3. Give it away

One hand giving a flower to another

Can the item be recycled? Would it make somebody else happy? Soft toys can be gifted to children. Clothes can be donated. Small knick-knacks can be sold at flea markets, or given away to someone who has more space and wants to decorate. You can even re-work them into new items, changing them into something that will fit with your current decor.

4. Memories will stick

Man standing in field looking up at sky

One thing to remember is that your mind holds the key to remembering all your important moments. Yes, memories will fade, but holding onto them for too long is a type of mental clutter. It is better to live in the present moment, and leave memorabilia in the past.

5. Inspiration for something new

A place can drag you down if it has too many outdated items. The way out of this rut is through getting some new inspiration. Flip through some interior design magazines, or check out photos of beautiful interiors online. Make an inspiration board on Pinterest, or cut out the pictures you like from a newspaper. When you know exactly how you want your ideal home to look, you will quickly be able to sift through the items you’re keeping.

If all else fails, and you still cannot make a decision, try writing out the pros and cons of keeping your items. You could even leave them in storage, until you decide once and for all where they belong.