October 29, 2011

{OrganizedHome} Day 29: Sentimental Items

Don't worry, I'm not about to tell you to ditch all of your sentimental items.

My babies eat from the same silver baby spoons their great grandfather did so long ago. When not being used to feed babies and toddlers, the spoons sit intermingled with new plastic spoons and forks.  The old and the new intertwined, a piece of family history sometimes in my son's sticky yogurt covered fingers.

The things that remind you of people you've loved and seasons of your life that have challenged or changed you are not clutter.  They are exactly the things that a simple and inviting home are filled with.

I've spent most of this series asking you to declutter and suggesting ways to hide the stuff you can't help but keep.  I've been challenging you to clear out the things that don't matter to make room for the things that do.

Now that you've made some room, the challenge is different.  Today's challenge is to bring your sentimental items out of hiding. Bring that box out of the attic.  Or go dig through the basement. 

Use and display your sentimental items.

And if you come across something that you don't care to see or touch every day, if it's been in a box for years and you don't have any interest in displaying it on the mantel,  maybe it really isn't that sentimental.  Maybe you can ditch it after all.

[This is day 29 of a 31 Day Series about organizing your home.  Click here to see more.]

p.s.  If the idea of using grandma's linens or your great aunt's china scares you a little, read this post.


  1. Love this post! I always try to make sure to somehow use or display my sentimental items. I mean, what's the point of having them if you can't enjoy them, right? :)

  2. Such a good point. I definitely have a few boxes of sentimental items that I don't miss in a box; if I get my laundry done today, I will open one up and start the purging, I mean, the sorting:)

  3. It's so true. Why save things for 'special' occasions and have them gathering dust.

    That is such a wonderful treasure that you have your grandfather's spoons.

  4. I love this! I've got several sentimental items I'm trying to find a place for now. My husband framed the one place setting of silver that belonged to my grandparents that we have and I love looking at it every day. Up next, two hand-made quilts to hang on the wall. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I'm at a bit of a loss here. I have a baby quilt that my great great grandmother hand made for me. I love the quilt because my grandmother made it and I used it up until the day that my son was born and he began using it. A few weeks ago I noticed it was starting to fray and I decided to put it away. It's not something I would want to display necessarily because it doesn't go with any of our decor but I don't want to give it away by any means.

    1. Something as precious as that can go in a cedar chest or memory box, or as I call it my box of love. A box I go through when I feel sad, that is filled with things to fragile to display, or things that just don't work to be displayed.

    2. Frame a small cut out of it. I saw a pinterest pic of a small swatch of a quilt, on a cool textured white background/canvas ,framed in a nice dark frame.

    3. I had a sweater of my grandmothers that I didn't want to part with but couldn't wear because of a small stain on it. When my son was born, my mother in law cut the sweater into squares and incorporated them into a blanket for the baby. Brilliant!

  6. I have two beautiful decorative boxes on my desk in my bedroom. I use one of them for special things like my baby blanket and a few other things not worthy of display but still worthy of hanging on to (Like my Elvis trading cards). The most important thing about deciding to keep something is deciding where it should be kept. Only you can decide what is important to you.

  7. This is great! And also very true. It's hard to say "I'm going to get rid of everything I don't use/need/want/etc" when there are things that are of great value emotionally that you may not actually use, nor need. But, yet, if you are that attached, they must be kept! Using them, of course, is also important. Someone has to. I was at an estate sale a few weeks ago (the lady that lived in the house, from what I understand, just went off to a care home, so not entirely tragic), and the lady running it said to not hoard things as the old lady had done! If you don't use it for two years or so, get rid of it! I told her someone had to keep it, but she laughed and said no. Either way. If it's just taking up space, and is only sort of pretty - it can go. If you look at it and it brings back lovely memories, keep it. Whether it matches or not.

  8. Love this post! I have a lot of sentimental items, that, no matter how much decluttering I've done in the past, somehow stays in the room with me. It's nice to hear that it's not clutter.


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