How To

Organize your keepsakes

What you need:

10 Minutes
An Open Mind
Just You

On Keeping and Letting Go

Placing keepsakes or sentimental items out in the open can offer moments of joy as you move through your home. But we also know how challenging it can be to keep these items organized. Here are five simple steps to guide you through the process of determining what to keep, what to let go of, and how to make the most of your collection.

1. Remember to give yourself space in the process

Sentimental items can be challenging to keep in check because of the emotion attached. So as you begin this process, try to be patient with yourself. We all hold on to things that bring back memories or a sense of nostalgia, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if the items in question are causing you more angst than enjoyment, it might be time to find them a new home.

2. Take time to reflect on why and where

We keep things for different reasons: to preserve family heritage, as mementos of a milestone, as a time capsule to pass on to a family member. Take a moment to reflect on why these items still hold meaning for you and then categorize them by purpose. It's also important to think about where you're keeping these items. Clothing that’s kept for sentimental purposes shouldn’t be stored with clothing you wear. Try consolidating your collection in a seperate bin or basket nearby so when it comes time to bring it back out, you know exactly where it is.

3. Consider capturing a photo or two

There will always be a few things you may never want to part with, but there are other items where the physical object is less important. Try taking photos of these items. This quick trick will allow you to reclaim the space those items once took up, and the images will still serve their purpose as a trigger for fond memories.

4. Find ways to enjoy your collection regularly

It's easy to feel guilty or frustrated with keepsakes or sentimental items because they are often sitting under a bed or in the back of a closet, taking up space without a clear function. If these items trigger positive feelings, then don't be afraid to display them or keep them nearby in a bin or basket that is easily accessible.

5. Identify a place for a rotating display

Depending on how many sentimental items you have, you may not have the real estate to display them all, or you might prefer a more minimal display that looks less cluttered. In that case, create a rotating display. Put a small tray on your bookshelf or a low cabinet and style a collection of your favorite items. In six months or so, swap it out with a new group.
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