How to Declutter When You're Feeling Sentimental

Getting rid of stuff: It's not easy.

If you're sentimental about your belongings, you're not alone.

In a recent California Closets survey, 53% of those polled said they were sentimentalists. They have a hard time letting go of anything memorable, from concert tickets to kids’ art projects to favorite clothing items that don’t fit anymore.

Decluttering can definitely be emotional if you're sentimental, but sometimes you need to be practical. Here's how:

Ask & Answer

Only hold on to the items that you really love. If you won't miss it, it's time to part with it.

If you're having a tough time deciding whether to get rid of something, imagine yourself a year from now.

  • Where will you be?
  • What will your life look like?
  • Where will you be living?

Now look at the item in question. A year from now, if you got rid of it:

  • Would you even remember that you got rid of it?
  • If you did remember, would you be sad that it's gone?

If the answer is no to either of those questions, it's time for it to go. Give it a new home or discard it.

If the answer is yes to both, then hold onto it.

You'll Feel Better

It's difficult for most people to part with belongings, so don't be too hard on yourself.

Just remember that by letting go of items that no longer hold significant meaning for you, you're freeing up space for the things and activities you really love. With practicality comes peace of mind.


Dan from California ClosetsDan is a Web & Social Media Specialist at California Closets and hopes that one day his music collection will be as organized as his closets.

Tags: California Closets Organizing Survey, closets, declutter, decluttering, getting rid of, how to, organized, organizing, practical, sentimental, tips