By Contributing Author Rachel Jackson
Over the course of our lifetimes, we accumulate lots of items that carry substantial sentimental value. We hang on to these possessions as a reminder of times and loved ones went by. They make us happy and nostalgic and prompt us to think of things long forgotten.
But they can also take up a considerable amount of space in your home. The attic, the spare room, the hallway. If your sentimental clutter is getting out of hand, take a look at a few of the things you can do with it:
Hang it on the Wall
Old photographs are some of the most treasured items many of us own. But they often sit piled up in packets or photo albums. Create a photo collage by cutting up lots of different photos. Alternatively, scan them and arrange them using an online app. Frame your collage and hang it in pride of place. That way, you get to look at your photos every day, and they’ll take up much less space.
Children’s artwork is another favorite amongst us hoarders. Pick out your favorites, frame and hang them. They make great additions to a child’s bedroom and can be passed onto your children when they have kids of their own.
With a little crafty creativity, old items can be upcycled into something new and useful. And even if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, it’s often possible to find a crafter on Etsy who can make your upcycling dream a reality.
Old baby clothes can be transformed into a patchwork quilt – a space saving but still beautiful way to remember the baby years. Wedding dresses can be tailored into christening gowns. Old ceramics with interesting patterns can be worked into items of jewelry. Even old letters containing a loved one’s handwriting can be scanned and printed onto pretty much anything – a mug, a key ring or a mirror.
Give It Away
While it can be hard to give up items, you feel sentimental about, knowing that they’re going to a good home where they’ll be put to regular use can lessen the blow. Give items away to close friends or family members. That way, you’ll still get to see your gifts when you go to visit. Or give your things to a charity shop. Giving away possessions to help a good cause is sure to make parting with them a bit more bearable.
If you really can’t bear to part with your sentimental clutter but need to free up some extra space in your home, the best option is storage. If you have a garage or an attic, shelving will help you to put away your possessions more neatly. And if you’re strapped for space, look online to find storage space you can rent. This doesn’t mean shelling out huge amounts of cash each month. Affordable storage options can be found on a sharing community website like Spacer.
When storing your belongings, consider how best to preserve them. Items of clothing should be packed with space to breathe – plastic dry cleaner’s bags are a big no-no – and protected from insects like moths. Any books or photographs should be protected from dampness. Protect everything correctly, and you can look back on every sentimental item you own for many years to come.
Giving up belongings that carry sentimental value is tough. But there are plenty of ways you can hold on to your memories and still clear some space. Display, upcycle, give some things away and put items into storage to preserve your sentimental clutter without letting it take over your home.