I’ve been blogging in this space — first Organizing Your Way and then Life Your Way — for over three years now, and there are some great posts in the archives that don’t get much attention anymore. This week, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites. Whether you’ve been around since the beginning or are a new reader, I think you’ll enjoy them!
Last week I broke a Washington Redskins glass that had been passed down to us after my grandfather died. Although we do use the glasses regularly, we’re extremely careful with them, and we had made it seven years without breaking one….until I knocked it off the shelf.
It’s ironic because I already had this post about decluttering and sentimentality scheduled, but I’m really not very sentimental. However, breaking that glass was a good reminder that things can hold special meaning for us. And that’s okay.
However, most of us have limited space for holding these special items, and holding onto everything doesn’t leave you much time or space to enjoy any of them.
Here are a few tips for balancing the sentimental with the practical:
Unpack the Boxes
If you have boxes full of things packed away in storage because you can’t bear to part with them, it’s time to make some tough decisions. You either need to unpack them or let them go. They aren’t inspiring memories in your basement; they’re simply collecting dust.
Use it or Lose It
As I mentioned, we do use the Redskins glasses from my grandfather, even though we always run the risk of breaking them. But if they were packed away, how many opportunities would I miss to tell my girls about how much their PawPaw loved the Redskins and how we used to collect the glasses every time we got gas at the local Mobil or how we would watch the games on his gigangamongous projection TV while eating Combos and Pinwheels? The risk is worth each of those opportunities to me.
Of course, you can get creative about what using those special things means for you:
- My mom uses my great-grandmother’s old sewing machine as decor in her home, and then she folds it down to use as extra serving space for special dinners.
- A friend of ours lost her husband, and she eventually had many of his favorite pieces of clothing turned into quilts for herself and their son.
- Frame old letters or fragile linens and hang them on the wall.
Take Pictures of Your Memories
We often take pictures or scan my kids’ artwork because there simply is not enough room to keep them all. However, Tanna from Complete Organizing Solutions recently shared her Picture Your Memories challenge, and I love the idea of taking pictures of all of the things that hold special memories before I send them to their new homes.
Set Limits…and Stick to Them
Of course, we all have things we want to store for the next generation…special books, toys, etc. I’m not completely against storage of all kinds, but it’s important to set limits based on the space you have available and stick to them.
Are you sentimental? Do you have trouble letting go of “clutter” that holds special memories for you? What creative ways have you found to use the things that have specal meaning?
|Mandi Ehman is the founder and publisher behind Life Your Way and the co-author of All in Good Time, as well as a wife and the homeschooling mom to four beautiful girls. She lives with her family on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia and loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.|