How to Organize Sentimental Items, Part 1: Rules for Keeping | Clutter Video Tip


Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter
Diet book and on-line program, and we are going to do a two-part series on sentimental
items. I get so many questions about this. This is a hard subject for people. So we’re
doing Part 1 of this little series on the rules of keeping sentimental items. [POP]
And Part 2 is going to be about some ways to more easily let it go. So we have four rules for you about keeping
things that you feel sentimental about. First of all, you need to prioritize it. So like
wine, sentimental items and memorabilia are best enjoyed within limits. So we suggest,
if you have trouble with this, using what we call a limiting container. So this could
be any kind of container you like. A box, or a bin, or a basket, or some kind of large
tin, whatever it is for you. And you have that as the amount of space available to keep
this kind of memorabilia. So if you’re talking about cards and letters, or you’re talking
about old clothing, whatever it is, keepsakes from kids’ school years, you know that when
that container is full that is your cue to clean out what’s in there and prioritize
the items before you add anything else new to it. So I just cleaned out my son’s room. I’m
sitting in here. He just went to college a few weeks ago. And some of the things that
I found in his room were his baby blankets. And he had a very strong attachment to these
two blankets [POP], very much like Linus in the Peanuts characters, only double. And,
you know, out of all the stuff that we found in the room these were the only two things
that I really wanted to keep. So I was able to just prioritize and say, you know, all
the other stuff isn’t as important as these, which I find are really the essence of his
childhood. [POP] So you want to really think about that. What really makes up that memory
for you in the strongest possible way with the most succinct amount of items. So the second rule about keeping sentimental
items is that you want to identify it. If you’re keeping it, you want to make sure
that if you get hit by a bus, somebody else knows what this is. This is particularly important
with pictures. So if you had your children all of sudden needing to go through all of
your photos, do they know who these people are in the photos? Do they know what year
it was? It’s great if you can just very quickly simply organize your photos even into
a shoebox with little dividers or something. You don’t have to put everything perfectly
away in albums – if you’re not ready to do that or don’t have enough time to do
that – but make sure that somebody can know who those people are and why these things
are being kept and what significance they have. The third rule is to organize your stuff.
You need to have some kind of system. If you’re going to keep this stuff, the whole point
of keeping it is that you can access it when you want it. And as my good friend Barbara
Hemphill says: “If you don’t know you have it, or you can’t find it, it is of
no use to you.” So make sure you have a filing system or you have things labeled in
bins or something so that you can actually find what you’re looking for. And the fourth rule of keeping sentimental
items is that you want to enjoy it. Give it a place of honor in your home. If you’re
going to bother to keep it, why not get it mounted or framed? Hang it up, put it in your
everyday living area so that you can enjoy it. You can find little items and put them
all in a shadow box, you can take a big collection of, you know, running race t-shirts and make
them into a t-shirt quilt. You can Google that and find out there are a lot of people
that will make a t-shirt quilt for you. You can make pillows out of other kinds of fabric
items, old clothing, or even things like these blankets. I could theoretically make a pillow
or something out of these. So make sure that you are finding ways to incorporate these
memories into your daily living. If you’d like some help making some of these
decisions – we know it can be very hard when emotions are involved – we can help
you, walk you through that. We have a team of organizers on-line seven days a week that
is available to you at about the price of a pizza, and better than that, you can try
it out for free with our Quick Start Program. You can find out more about that at http://www.clutterdiet.com/quickstart. See you next time, and may you always be happy
and grateful for having more than enough.