Day 4 · Take a sentimental journey
“When I go, I don’t want to be remembered by the stuff I left behind, but how I loved while I was here.” – Courtney Carver
It’s Day 4 and so far we’ve discussed streamlining the flow through your home, reducing the number of decorations in your home, and you’ve begun to eliminate the “clutter clusters” (both seen and unseen.)
Hopefully, you’re beginning to feel less overwhelmed by your full-sized life and can see what a difference less stuff in your life makes.
It’s now time to address the things that are most difficult to eliminate from your life: sentimental items and keepsakes. That includes the items that you’ve boxed up and sent to “Exile Island.”
When we moved abroad and had to drastically downsize, I packed up the majority of our family’s keepsakes that I felt I could never part with and asked a few willing family members to hold on to them while we were gone.
When we returned home eight years later, I went through all of those precious keepsakes and was shocked at the amount of stuff I’d held onto! So, I decided to take photos of at least half of it and was then able to let those items/photos go, keeping only a few very special things.
Having inherited a couple of households worth of possessions in my life, this article, Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parent’s Stuff confirmed what I already knew…I do not want to leave behind a bunch of
junk possessions for my children and grandchildren to have to contend with when I die, and neither should you.
Courtney Carver of the blog, Be More With Less says, “Oftentimes, the most difficult stuff to get rid of, is the stuff soaked in memories. We become attached to things that remind us of our past and our loved ones.”
In her blog post, On All The Sentimental Stuff and Clutter, she suggests that we put more importance on the stories of things, rather than the things themselves, and she has some ingenious ideas about preserving your special memories without the dusty boxes.
Consider the following articles from the website, Next Avenue to give you valuable insight when you are reducing your sentimental items: The 4 Boxes Approach to Helping Elderly Parents and 10 Things You Should Save For Your Kids.
Activity – Today we’re going to address your “Exile Island” boxes. Organize boxes with like items and those items you’d be willing to part with sooner than others. Label each box clearly.
Consider the previous articles then mark your calendar to go through each “Exile Island” box periodically and remove at least one item, ideally more, during each re-evaluation.
A note about books: I love the feel of a book in my hands as much as the next bibliophile, but these days most books can be viewed online or borrowed from the library. Nothing else in your home harbors more mildew and dust than your books, so get rid of as many as you can. You may even be able to sell them to a used bookstore and get some cash for them! Let them collect dust somewhere else.
You’ve made great strides this week, so once you’ve completed today’s activity, put your feet up and enjoy the newfound serenity of “tiny house living!”
Pura vida, Penny