Don’t fret about discarding sentimental clutter

I just read an article by Gretchin Rubin in the August issue of Good Housekeeping magazine about her latest project to clear clutter from her home.  It is an excerpt from her new book Happier at Home.  In the article she talks about how she felt a powerful connection to sentimental things she associated with her daughters and, therefore, found it hard to discard them.  That got me thinking about an idea of how to solve her dilemma:

Take a photograph of the special item!

Write down on a piece of paper or index card why that item is so special or has such sentimental value and take a photograph of the index card.

After finishing your de-cluttering project, take the photos of all your special items along with your descriptions of those items and make a special digital photo book to preserve those memories forever.  If you have a photo of a family member with that special item, then include that photo in the book as well.

You can also do this with all the childhood memorabilia such as children’s art work and school projects.  It is a great way to preserve those memories is a special book for each child.

No more fretting over how and where to store all those sentimental items that may be gathering dust.  Save the very special ones and preserve the rest in photographs and photo books.

Share this:


  1. Caren, what a wonderful post! As a Professional Organizer I often give this advice to clients – photograph a special toy or project to preserve the visual memory. Now that it’s documented you can free yourself of its physical clutter in your life. Your keen idea takes it one step further and is so logical, simple, and “organized”! Brava”! Thank you for enlightening me and allowing me to be an even more effective Professional Organizer! I am a new member of APPO and very excited about the opportunities to help my clients with my new skills. I hope to meet you sometime since we live in neighboring states :-).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *