7 Steps to Dealing With Sentimental Clutter

It's hard enough to purge junk, let alone boxes loaded with memories. Here, seven steps to understanding what—and how—to let go. 

Cluttered stacks of kids art work
Christopher Baker
Advertisement
  

What do you think about this slideshow? Share your own solutions and ideas.

View Earlier Comments

Related Content

T-shirts rolled neatly into a drawer

3 Simple Ways to Eliminate Clutter

Tripping over your own shoes? Can’t find your favorite T-shirt? You’re not alone. These quick tips can help you get organized.

PAGE 7 OF 11
 PreviousNext 

Step 4: Take a Picture (It Lasts Longer)

Admittedly, a digital image is not the thing itself. There's no tactile joy to it. But storing something on a computer doesn't just save space; it also minimizes risk from a preservationist standpoint. "Even with archival paper and plastic sleeves, physical objects can fade or get lost," says Madere. You can ship off old snapshots and have them converted to digital form by services like gophoto.com. You might also want to photograph meaningful items before letting them go. And if you're clearing a whole house after, for example, the loss of a loved one, Madere suggests taking pictures of the rooms first, or asking a friend to, if the task is too emotional. "You can make lovely books at blurb.com to preserve the memories in a form you can hold," says Madere.

Which brings us nicely to every parent's bugaboo: children's artwork. The art writer Casey Ellis (brilliantly) suggested that I tell my kids I was creating a catalogue raisonné of their work. This is a fancy term for a complete list of an artist’s output. It sounds impressive, and it means that the original pieces, after being scanned or photographed, can be farmed out to collectors (a.k.a. Grandma) or recycled. Their memories live on in my Flickr pages, to be admired at the kids' leisure. (So far, that means never.)

Advertisement
Computer desk
Even though William Shakespeare would have turned 450 years old today, his plays...
from The Nest Blog » house & home
The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors an...
from FOXNews.com
When we caught wind that Domaine Home had a hand in revamping Lea Michele's...
from POPSUGAR Home
The sounds of sizzling bacon is enough to lure us out of bed every time. And the...
from Tastepartner on The Huffington Post
...
from HuffPost Home - The Huffington Post
A few decades ago, the only structure in a British garden was the trusty shed. ...
from Houzz