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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.

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Sweet Sandy Wiggins, a resident of Oneonta, grew up with a love of organizing and rearranging spaces in her own home. Her friends and family lovingly refer to her as the “girl scout” of the group because of her knack for keeping things organized and beautified. Her passion for decluttered space and eye catching order landed her a spot on the OWL team. She is married to her best friend, Dwight, of 27 years and has three wonderful grandchildren to dote on. Sandy loves meeting new people, creating happy spaces for our clients and caring for those closest to her. We are blessed to have her on the team!

Stacie is a coveted member of our OWL team. She has an eye for organization and design that will make you wonder why she didn’t pursue this passion full time! A project manager by day, her life revolves around order and keeping everyone on track. As a weekend warrior, she assists in Saturday projects and makes our clients wish they could hire her for weeks at a time! She lives in Trussville with her husband, daughter and two dogs and enjoys spending time with friends and family, yard sale hopping and Alabama football (Roll Tide!).

Margaret Hale, the beautiful southern belle from Birmingham, is our newest addition to OWL.

She is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management and a professional chef. Margaret has worked for Southern living, owns a catering company and co-owned a restaurant in Huntsville, AL. Since cooking wasn’t her only passion, she decided to join our team and expand on her love of organizing and home décor. Her eye for flare and spirit of excellence makes her the perfect addition to our team.


In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, being in ministry, and creating the best new recipes around.

For many years Susan has been the go-to organizer and stager for her friends and family. Having a long-time passion and naturally inclined skill set for making spaces purposeful, she decided to pursue a career in the industry. She has an endearing and meaningful memory of decorating her bedroom as a child. This included transforming bar stools into multi-story Barbie Doll townhouses. In her past lives, Susan was a Restaurateur, Executive Sales Manager, and a Cosmeceutical Sales Rep. When asked about her biggest accomplishment, she’ll gush about her gratitude for the blessing of having raised a good and decent human being. Her son is currently a grad student at the University of Florida’s MBA program.

Susan resides in Birmingham with her husband of twenty-six years and their pack of fur babies. This includes four cats and a “little” 110 lb. dog. Her lifelong platform is animal rescue and advocation.

“No matter how educated, talented, rich, or cool you believe you are, how you treat others ultimately tells all. Integrity is everything.”

Meet Miranda! The one that keeps our wheels turning and always answers the phone with a smile on her face.

She loves fishing, family, and all things nerd – which is 1000% why we love her so much!

Miranda lives in Odenville with her husband, precious baby boy, and a sassy cat.