Feel good, not guilty about letting go of sentimental clutter – with tips on how to store sentimental items you’re keeping

Posted on: Tue Mar 21

Clearing clutter is a tedious task most of us have to knuckle down and do when moving house or trying to free-up space in a home bursting at the seams with stuff. The hardest part for most people is sorting out sentimental items, such as your kids’ drawings, Mother’s Day cards, inherited pieces, souvenirs, and gifts. Choosing to no longer hold onto these doesn’t mean you’re discarding the associated memories or legacy attached. Your memories and the value it once held will always remain with you. But if you’re holding onto things you no longer need, use, or even like, it becomes sentimental clutter, and the space it takes can feel overwhelming. 

Below are ways you can actually feel good about letting go of sentimental clutter, along with tips on how to store sentimental items after you’ve shifted the ones you no longer need. 

Does it spark joy? The art of letting go

Wildly popular Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo, speaking with the Guardian, advises people to focus on what they want to keep rather than what they don’t want when decluttering. She says this makes the process less overwhelming. If you’re undecided on what to keep, Kondo says you first need to ask yourself if it sparks joy in your heart by paying close attention to how your body reacts.

“Hold each item in your hands, as close to your heart as possible. And then, pay close attention to how your body responds. When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill running through your body as if your body is somehow slowly rising up to meet the item, embracing it even,” she explains to The Guardian.

Are you carrying guilt when decluttering?

It’s easy to hold onto sentimental items because you don’t want to hurt the feelings of those who gave it to you. Whether it’s gifts or heirlooms, you shouldn’t keep them out of guilt as this makes decluttering almost impossible. As mentioned above, keep items that spark joy and everything else can be donated or passed on to family members. Let go of guilt and get empowered by cleaning your space and knowing you’re handling decluttering the right way for you!

Get creative 

Sentimental decluttering can also be a fun, creative process if you want to reimagine these pieces and breathe new life into them. Think resetting a stone from an old ring onto a new shiny band or sewing together your kids’ old t-shirts into a quilt. Pictures, letters, and other papers are another place you can get creative. You can consolidate these into a scrapbook and pass these down to the next generation. 

A new home 

Here are some ideas on what to do with sentimental items in good shape:

Clothes: Keep a few pieces that are special, and the rest can be passed down to friends and family or donated.

Heirlooms: Given to family members or possibly donated to museums. Heirlooms you’re keeping should be stored away safely. 

Books: Give these to family members or donate them to a local charity or donation centre.

Photos: If you have too many photos, sort these out by giving the duplicated ones to family members or discard the extras or ones that aren’t clear. To save more space, you can always keep digital copies only and don’t forget to back them up on the cloud. 

How to store sentimental items: A special place in storage units 

Often there are just too many sentimental items that spark joy, and you can’t part ways with. But if the space in your home is limited and you can’t accommodate them, you can always rely on self-storage. However, even if you do have enough space, you may still need self-storage if you’re thinking about placing these valuables in your basement, attic, or garage. These spaces are usually high in humidity and experience fluctuating temperatures, resulting in severe damage to precious metals, photographs, books, and clothes. 

If you choose Mason Self Storage in the Vale of Glamorgan, you’ll get 24/7 storage in a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled storage facility that’s supremely secure, flexible, and easily accessible every day of the year, including bank holidays. 

Here’s a quick snapshot on how to store sentimental items destined for self-storage to ensure they’re always in good shape:

Clothing: Wash them thoroughly before storage and make sure all stains are removed. Wrap clean clothing in acid-free tissue paper or packing paper and place them in archive storage boxes. Avoid placing clothes in plastic bags, as this traps moisture. Vacuum sealed bags should also be avoided as this severely wrinkles clothes.

Silverware: Store these in bags made of felt as this material prevents them from tarnishing. You can place these bags in plastic containers to protect them from the risk of water damage.

Photos: Store in acid free tissue paper or packing paper and place them in a storage box. There are also photo preservation kits that keep them secure and prevent bending and other damage. 

Precious metal jewellery and other valuables: Separate these according to the type of metal, and then lock these away in respective jewellery boxes. Make sure they’re clean, dry and polished before storage. 

Books: Ensure all books are clean before storage, including free from food or liquid damage. Wrap them in packing material, paper towels or packing paper to protect them from damage caused by dirt or dust. Store them upright in a plastic storage bin or container with the spines facing outward. 

For high-quality and durable packing supplies, check out Masons Self Storage packing supplies store. You can collect your packing material directly from us in Vale of Glamorgan or opt for our delivery service. 

Masons Self Storage: Three decades in South Wales

If you’re looking for self storage in Barry, Penarth, or just about anywhere else across the Vale of Glamorgan, you’ve found the leading, most trusted name in the industry. At Masons Self Storage, we have over 3 decades providing South Wales with affordable, secure, and accessible storage units. 

Are you thinking about using self-storage units for storing sentimental items? If so, email our team at: [email protected] or give us a call on 0800 533 5708 for more info.