To me, the hardest thing about decluttering is letting go of things that have memories attached.
I want to hang on to that teeny, tiny Pooh Bear shirt I brought my newborn baby home in.
I want to hang on to the little red wagon my son loved so much.
By why? They are only things that get rusted and broken.
The main reason we want to hold on to them is because they have treasured memories attached to them.
Just recently we were cleaning and decluttering our storage building and my older son came across his “shooting fishing rod.” My husband looked at him and said, “Aww. That is the very first present you ever asked Santa Claus for.” My son looked at it while thinking of the memories of fishing with it. He was about to store it away when my husband told him it was broken. But my son was reluctant to throw it away. I told him that I have pictures of most of the fun times that he had with the fishing rod. Those memories are frozen in a picture, so he can actually see what he looked like and what his rod looked like when he was using it. There is really no reason for him to keep the broken rod. He agreed to throw it away.
I realized that I also have photos of me enjoying many of my cherished items. There is no need for me to hang on to things that are no longer useful or that I can no longer use just because of the memory that is attached. The same goes for all the great treasures and trinkets that my kids have made for me. If I cannot find a place in my home where I can use these things, I make sure to get a picture of my kids holding them. That way I do not worry about them getting broken or torn while stored away in a storage building.
I do keep some things that are beautiful and useful that I cherish, such as an old, cozy blanket that was my great-grandmother’s. I also have my beautiful flowers that my mother crocheted for my wedding. These flowers are lovingly placed on a shelf in my living room. I will never part with those gifts! But if you have things in storage that you are never going to bring out or use again, I encourage you to get rid of them.
Photographs will help the memories live on forever.