How to Decide What to Do With Sentimental Items

Couple looking at a baby photo album.

Many Americans are in the midst of minimizing. Some are inspired by recent books and TV shows about organizing. Others are involved in the minimalist movement in general, while some are experiencing a major change in their own lives. Even the change in seasons can create the urge to purge the excess items cluttering our homes or storage units. Whatever your reason, parting with items to which special memories or emotions are attached can be the most difficult task of all. 

These tips from Compass Self Storage will help you get started on this process, develop a plan that will work best for you, and find the storage solutions you need for the items that mean the most. Explore tips for decluttering sentimental items and reclaim your space today. 

Accept Assistance

If you don’t trust yourself to complete the project – or even get started – without help, enlist the aid of a friend or family member. If you’re worried that you’ll go easy on yourself, ask a no-nonsense person for help. Or, maybe you just need moral support. In this case, reach out to a warm, patient person who will just be there for you. Either way, a second set of hands and an extra pair of eyes are sure to provide perspective and a little organizational help.

Decluttering sentimental items can be a tough task and take an emotional toll on you. Having assistance from a trusted friend or family member can provide support that you need to see the process out to the end, rather than stopping halfway through. 

A grandson with his grandma cooking in the kitchen

Rethink Your Mementos

Whether you have a small home or simply can’t justify keeping boxes full of stuff, consider saving your cherished items in a different format. Make something useful out of objects you would otherwise just stash in a box. Repurpose a loved one’s piece of clothing by turning it into a decorative cover for a throw pillow. Take a photo of an odd, large, or unusable item before giving it to someone who will cherish it. Or showcase a piece of clothing, quilt, doily, or another memento in a frame to honor a loved one or special memory.

By focusing on items that hold significant value and finding a way to keep them in your home, it will be easier to decide what belongings are worth keeping and which you are ready to let go of. 

Take it Easy

You don’t have to tackle everything at once, especially if you’re facing multiple boxes or a room’s worth of belongings. Break your project into several sessions if necessary and get a good night’s sleep to help ensure a clear head. Returning to the task may give you the perspective you need to judge whether something should stay or go.

How to Store Sentimental Items

Fine china teacups

You’ll want to take additional precautions when storing sentimental items to make sure they’re kept in their best condition while you’re away. Whether you’re storing items in your home, or in a storage unit, you’ll want to gather the appropriate packing materials such as plastic bins or clear organizers, photo storage boxes, sheet protectors, packing paper, and bubble wrap. 

When placing items into your storage unit, stack light boxes and boxes that are not full on top of stacks to avoid crushing the contents.

Wrap glasses and plates in bubble wrap or packing paper and insert cardboard dividers to keep items apart. Be sure to mark boxes containing sentimental items as fragile so they will be handled with care when moved. Other packing tips include storing items you’ll use often at the front of your unit, creating a center aisle to access all items, and utilizing pallets to allow air flow around and under items. 

Follow Your Compass

Whether you need to safeguard special items during a transitional period or want some extra space in your home, Compass Self Storage can help. We’re proud to offer self storage solutions across the country including Florida, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, and beyond!

Rent or reserve your unit online or give our helpful storage professionals a call to discuss how self storage can help when decluttering sentimental items, downsizing your family home, becoming an empty nester, and more.