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What Do I Do With the Sentimental Stuff?

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

We’ve developed an emotional attachment to certain things in our home. These items represent an accomplishment, relationship, person, or memory that is remembered each time we encounter the object. It’s a common misconception that if we get rid of something sentimental, the memory that is associated with the object is also given away.

This couldn’t be more untrue.

We’d been storing a box under our bed of cards that people wrote to us on our wedding day. We’re not sure why, but this was one of the hardest things for us to recycle and it was because we subconsciously feared that if we got rid of the cards we’d somehow forget who came to our wedding. We’re so thankful that we could have so many wonderful people at our wedding, but not having the cards anymore doesn’t somehow negate their attendance on our day. They still came and we have the pictures of them to enjoy. Also, who has the time to go through 200+ wedding cards just for a trip down memory lane?

Although memories and objects can be tied to each other, that doesn’t mean the memory is somehow encapsulated inside the object. We are in control of assigning whatever meaning we wish towards our belongings. No one should ever tell you that you should get rid of all sentimental things in your life just for the purpose of simplifying your life. But we can also be comforted that our memories don’t have to die when we get rid of things connected to them.

If there’s one thing to remember about items that hold an emotional value to you it's this: those items represent a specific experience which is irreplaceable. It’s these experiences that have shaped us and add value to our lives. Not the object.