How to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter Without Sacrificing Their Meaning

Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Ketut Subiyanto

Losing a family member or someone that you were close too is hard enough. But if you’re faced with unloading a lifetime of their possessions, the task that suddenly falls on you can be daunting. After all, memories are attached to every item you see as you walk through the rooms. Suddenly, you are faced with a difficult decision of sorting through everything while trying not to let it overwhelm you. How to get rid of sentimental clutter without sacrificing their meaning is important if you hope to hold it together through this grief.

The best method of how to get rid of sentimental clutter without sacrificing starts by trying to detach yourself emotionally before you begin. Think of yourself as a hired employee instead of the loved one that can evaluate each item with more unbiased clarity.

For instance, you may be in the kitchen when your eyes come across a decorative kitchen utensil holder such as a Magic Chef figurine holding favorite knives, thermometers, whisks, etc. that you remembered seeing that loved one use. Then again, you step further toward the kitchen cabinets and your hand automatically opens the junk drawer. You smile fondly when pulling out the antique food company baking booklet where you made your first cookies from among a pair of scissors, a stash of butterscotch candy, a few business cards, pen, and notepad. The kitchen table and chairs were you sat and enjoyed many meals also warm your heart, but the table does have a few scratches and the legs of the chairs have a ding or two. Upon closer examination, you may discover the everyday dishes became fewer or some were chipped.

Traveling further from room to room, you come across the same by touching things that replayed a particular memory in your mind just like a movie. At the same time, some of those treasured possessions like old family photos or souvenirs from another’s viewpoint would hardly seem valuable like that Magic Chef figurine or food-stained food company booklet, except for you. You almost feel guilty parting with even some of these things, but you know in your heart that you must in order to heal.

How do you manage to accomplish that? First, you stop feeling guilty of parting with those things is how to get rid of sentimental clutter without sacrificing their meaning. Sort through the special items that held the best memories of your times together and let go of lesser significant items. Instead, try keeping one or two sentimental items from each room such as that inherited piece.

For me, it was cooking and that big Magic Chef man that was always on her stove and that stained old cooking booklet among a few other treasures that would hardly mean much to anyone else but family.

All else that is in good condition can be donated to charity or sold at an estate sale. Getting over a loved one is never easy, but memories can stay with us and live forever.



  1. Maryann D.
    August 24, 2021 / 3:36 am

    I know I will have a hard time detaching myself emotionally and yet I know I have to get rid of a lot of clutter. I have been donating a lot of items to charity.

  2. Jerri
    June 23, 2022 / 1:02 am

    Giving items that were meaningful to others that loved my mom made it somewhat easier for me at her passing.

    • nuts4stuff
      June 23, 2022 / 2:21 am

      Hi Jeri,

      How true that is.

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