It’s Sentimental……I have to keep it!

Believe me, I get it…..trying to part with sentimental items is really tough. All your kid’s school work and art projects. All your grandmother’s knitting and the 20 blankets she made by hand. It’s a deeply ingrained belief that we should hold onto things that have sentimental value.

The reality is though, you end up weighed down by the accumulation of loads of stuff you’re storing that likely nobody in your family wants. And it is not serving you, or your life today.

So, what’s the alternative?

Let’s take the example of your kid’s school work and art projects. If you’ve held onto most all of it from nursery school through 12th grade, we’re looking at probably 14 bins “if” you actually organized it with 1 bin per year. It will likely be more than that if it has all been shoved into boxes or portfolios over the years.

Try giving those 14 bins to your kid one day and see the reaction you get. I’ll bet the farm you get a response like “Are you kidding me? I don’t want all that!”, or “Mom, why did you save all this? I’ve got no place to keep it”.

Blue,Red and Green Plastic box Packaging of finished goods on white background. bins 4      bins 4   Blue,Red and Green Plastic box Packaging of finished goods on white background.

How about we consider a new belief around sentimental items that goes like this: “If everything is special, nothing is special”. I heard that at a book signing by organizing industry, and former TLC host, Peter Walsh and it really resonated with me.

when everything is special nothing is special

Sometimes we use “sentimental” in too broad a sweeping way. Clearly not every paper your child touched or created was amazing, “special” and keep worthy.  When you have so much of the everyday, non-essential stuff….it just distracts you from being able to see & enjoy the truly cool, memorable and “special” stuff.

Let’s develop the habit of keeping maybe 10 things max per school year. Keep the things that really are awesome, invoke a great memory or mark a special moment. This way, the really “special” stuff can shine through, and it won’t feel like a 1000lb elephant when you look to pass it on to your grown child.

For more information on Simplify with Eileen and how I can simplify your life, please check out or call 781.589.5444 today!