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How to Declutter and Organize Sentimental Items

Young couple packing and unpacking cardboard boxes.

Nearly 54% of Americans feel overwhelmed by all the stuff they have. What’s more, 78% don’t know what to do with all the clutter. 

Do you feel like you’re caught in a cycle of clutter and disorganization? You organize your bedroom, linen closet, or whole home, only for the mess to return shortly after.

The problem is not about organization, it’s about all the stuff you own. 

Have you been wanting to declutter your home, but you don’t know what to do with your sentimental items? Check out this guide on how to declutter and organize sentimental items. 

Consider Your Mental Health

A cluttered home can affect your mental health. A 2016 study by the University of New Mexico studied the relationship between clutter and feelings about home. 

The study showed that clutter negatively affects the feeling of well-being and the sense of home. 

Do you feel like you’re stressed and unhappy from all the stuff you have in your home? Maybe you’re having trouble finding everyday items like your favorite sweater or your wallet? Then it’s time to get started. 

Find Time 

The first thing you can do is set aside time to get started on decluttering. Choose a time when you know you’ll have energy.

Also, this doesn’t have to be an overwhelming thing where you spend the whole day decluttering. You can do it a little at a time, maybe 30 minutes a day until you feel like your goal is complete.

You can also choose to work in one room at a time. When you finish a room, you will feel accomplished and be motivated to continue. 

You can organize and declutter right when you wake up when you’re energized for the day, or in the evening before you wind down for bed. 

Ask Someone to Help You

Can’t get rid of some of your items? Maybe you need an unbiased good friend or close family member to help you. 

Maybe a friend can help you choose a room or a collection to start with. They can also remind you and ask you whether or not you really need an item.

Be Tough 

It’s not easy to get rid of sentimental items. Maybe you saved all your child’s art pieces since they were in preschool. Or maybe you have every single birthday card you’ve ever gotten. 

You have to be tough when it comes to decluttering. Ask yourself, am I using this item? Is it useful to me as it’s taking up space in my home? 

You can also ask yourself why are you holding onto a particular item? Sometimes it’s because we feel guilty to get rid of it. Other times, it’s because it reminds us of a memory or a person that we don’t want to let go of. 

Consider how you’ll feel with a home that is uncluttered and unburdened by stuff. Think of your end goal. 

Decide What to Do With Each Item

When you sort through each item, decide what action you are going to take. Consider donating items that are still of use. Another option is to sell items that are valuable. 

You also might want to give away things such as family heirlooms to another family member. 

Get Creative

You can get creative with saving memories of the stuff you have. For example, you can take pictures of your child’s art pieces and create a digital album of their work. 

If you have multiple items like baby clothes, maybe you can choose and keep one or two precious pieces. You can donate the rest. It might make you feel better if you know that someone else’s child is going to get use out of your stuff. 

Focus on Buying Only What You Need

One thing to remember when you do declutter is not to build up the clutter habit again. This means being mindful when you shop.

One tip is to focus on buying only the items you need at the time. For example, it’s wintertime, and you see that bathing suits are on sale, so you buy a couple of swimsuits. However, you don’t even particularly like the styles you bought, and now you have to find somewhere to store them until the summer. 

Or maybe you see a pair of shoes on sale, but you end up not wearing them because you already own so many pairs of shoes.

Consider that the average American spends nearly $18,000 a year on things that are not needed. This amounts to nearly $1497 a month. 

You have to ask yourself before you buy, do I need this? Will I actually use it? Do I absolutely love it? 

These questions can help you decide whether you really should buy that item or not. 

Do a Deep Clean Afterwards

When you do finish your decluttering project, consider doing a deep clean of your home. A nice cleaning can make your home feel like a brand new place. 

Don’t have the time for a deep cleaning? You can search online for house cleaning services near me and have professionals clean your home. 

Build a Habit of Regularly Tidying Up

You want to maintain a clutter-free home. The key is to regularly tidy up instead of allowing your cleaning chores to pile up. That way, your cleaning won’t be overwhelming. 

This means making your bed every day, doing the dishes each night, or putting things away once you’re done with them.

You also might want to search for home cleaning services near me and have a regular professional cleaning maybe once a week, every two weeks, or once a month. 

Declutter and Organize Your Home

Imagine coming home after a long day of work to a home that is clutter-free and organized. 

You can also have the clean home of your dreams by hiring house cleaning services. Search for home cleaning near me or house cleaning services in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Monterey, East Bay, or San Diego if you live in the one of these areas where we just happen to know great local service providers who can help with cleaning. Do your research and find the best house cleaning service near you so you can declutter and organize your home. 

Book an appointment for house cleaning services today. 


Anita's Housekeeping Editors