When I tell my clients that I love working with attics and basements they think I’m joking. Dust aside, these storage spaces are home to lots of memories and so many cool histories. From photos, letters, collectibles, old journals and newspapers to baby clothes and toys. These spaces can go years without attention and few decades later, are packed with memorabilia clutter that needs to be dealt with.

When it’s time to downsize and reduce belongings, most of my clients are at lost on how to purge sentimental items. It’s hard. But there are ways to work around it. Let’s talk about few options to get you unstuck:

-Journey List

If you were to tell the history of your life, which milestones would you mention? What is still important to you after all these years?  Take a step back and look at the whole picture. Write down those moments of happiness and also the moments of growth.

-Be clear about your goal

It helps to start with the right mindset: letting go. Get into the task ready to make decisions and reduce. If purging makes you anxious, use your Journey List to keep you on track. Try to keep only items that can tell others about your history, those that evoke good memories and gratitude.

-Don’t let photos slow you down

Keep a photo box (or several) handy to gather photos as you find them but keep going. Resist the temptation to pause to reminisce.

-The best way to register the importance of what you won’t keep

Found an item that you want to let go, but it triggers a history? Record yourself telling it like for your kids and grandkids. Once you have that history registered, you will see that your laughs and personal notes on video will turn the item itself obsolete. Always keep an eye on how valuable these personal treasures are and check with family members if they don’t want it. Then, free yourself and let it go.  

Tips to purge memorabilia

April 7, 2021