Sunday, November 25, 2012

When Memories Become Clutter, Ways to Let Go and Have the Memories Live On

We all have physical objects in our homes that tie us to a certain person, moment or life event that is important to us. They are the things that are meaningful. The memories that take us back to a certain part of our lives we may want to hold onto. However at times there can become no distinction between perceiving them as memories and how those items can begin to cause clutter in our homes. When everything becomes important then not one particular item is important. Holding onto sentimental items is not a problem until the items begin to overtake you and your home. When the distinction is lost. So how can you pin point those items that you would like to keep? Here's a few steps to be on your way and still enjoy the memories.

Pinpoint the items causing the clutter 
Maybe you have a collection that was given to you by a loved one who has past. You may have picked up certain items in your travels. Your child's art work and school work that you can't seem to let go of. Recognize it is not the object itself, but rather the person or place it is associated with that is causing you the pain at the idea of letting it go. So how to decide what to keep? If it is causing clutter and feels chaotic in the space then you have not created any distinction between the memories and it just being clutter. Displaying with pride the items that are important to us is a great way to live in the memory, so decide to keep a portion of the collection, artwork..whatever it is that is causing the clutter. 

Deciding what to keep and what to let go of-
Are you prepared to display the items in a way that will not feel cluttered in the space? If the items are important to you there may have to be some shifting of other items to make space for displaying the memories. For instance if you have an antique dish set that means the world to you and you are considering displaying it in your china cabinet, then items already in the cabinet must come out. Space management is so important to avoid clutter. However if you are not willing to make space for the items, but would rather have them boxed up in the attic, asking yourself if you are prepared to take whatever action is needed to display them is an important part of the letting go process. Memories can become overshadowed when the items just become "stuff". Keep the memories alive and well by being respectful of the items. Display them or let go, possibly pass them onto another family member. Hoarding the items is not the same as enjoying the memories.

Ways to store the items so that do not become clutter-
Create a memory box or bin and decide what to keep. Be very honest about how many cards, letters, newspaper clippings, etc you need. Decide what will be kept and let go the of the rest. Label your bin according to the contents and do not over clutter it. Take advantage of technology. Scan photos or have videos put on cds. Creating a digital library of memories does not take up space in your home, and allows the memories to live on. Learn how to scrapbook. Share the memories through scrapbooks and build your own stories. If you have objects you are finding it hard to let go of take a photo of them and create a page dedicated to them. This will reinforce the memory and take away the physical clutter that the objects have caused. 

If memories are your clutter downfall remember that the memories will always live on even after you have let the item go. Find and decide what will become the few treasures you'd like to keep and respect the memories by displaying them with pride and affection! 

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