How to Get Rid of Sentimental Items

We all have things that we feel emotionally attached to that we keep stored away in our home. They could be hand-me-downs, gifts from old lovers, souvenirs, or even old photographs.

While having objects you attach sentimental value to isn’t wrong, the truth is, you don’t need those objects and you rarely use them.

So, you end up having a bunch of stuff you don’t need that takes up valuable real estate in your home.

We understand that some things are harder to let go of (trust me we do), but having them lying around your home will not only leave your home messy and congested, but will also prevent you from seeing and appreciating the things that truly matter.

So, how do we get rid of sentimental items without hurting too much? Understand that you are getting rid of items and not the memories.

Before you begin the decluttering process, it helps to understand that getting rid of sentimental items does not mean that you don’t cherish the memories. It also doesn’t mean that you love the people who gave you those gifts any less. You can still treasure those memories without holding onto the items you don’t need!

Here’s the plan:

Schedule a Time and Plan

Decluttering can be time consuming and overwhelming. To avoid burnout, schedule a time frame to work in – usually around three hours or so.

You don’t have to do it all at once. You can spread out the work by planning to do different rooms on different days. Just make sure you stick to your plan!

Group Your Items

You can make decluttering easier by grouping those items into three categories – keep, donate, and discard. When choosing what group to put an item in, evaluate how you feel about it, and be honest with yourself. Do you honestly like and use it, or did you keep it because of the memories attached?

If it’s the latter, decide if they are in good condition to be given out or thrown away. If you genuinely like the item and find it useful (remember, be honest), then you can keep it.

Say a Final Goodbye

Since you may want to keep those items because of the memories they hold, you can say your last goodbye by reliving those memories. Wear that t-shirt one last time. Play with that toy for the whole day. Chances are, you may come to realize that as beautiful as those memories are, you don’t need those items to keep them alive. They will always be a part of you.

Create a Virtual Storage

If you absolutely want to keep those sentimental items, you can create digital versions of them by taking their photographs and uploading them to your cloud storage. Ensure they are well backed up. That way, you still have your items, but they aren’t taking up valuable space in your home.

Give Them Out

You may be surprised to find that giving out those items to people who need them and would appreciate owning them may make it easier to deal with your sentimental items.

You won’t be wearing that wedding dress anymore and it’s in good condition, how about giving it out to a young bride?

Those toys your now-grown-up kids played with as children could use another friend. Knowing that those items are in good hands can lessen the blow of losing them.

In all, you should be kind to yourself through this process. Remember that the memories those items hold will always be remembered – stored away in your heart. Besides, you’ll know you made the right choice when you start to enjoy having so much space in your home.

What is the most difficult item you’ve let go of? Share with us in the comment section below.


Hello! I'm the owner and one of the professional home organizer at Organizer With Lia LLC. Organizing and writing are what excites me and what I love to do for others. It’s my way of giving back that gives me something greater in return.

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Lia Brady

Professional Organizer

Hello! I’m the owner and one of the professional home organizers at Organize With Lia LLC serving Birmingham, Huntsville, AL


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