How To Deal With Sentimental Clutter Without Feeling Guilty


This is a guest post from Chris Tecmire of Simple Family Finance. Though Chris, his wife, and his 6-month-old son live on a very modest salary, they have been able to increase their net worth over $60,000 in the last two years alone and pay off all non-mortgage debt. His blog aims to inspire others to do the same through the idea that anyone, at any income level, can find financial freedom.

I’d like to introduce you to three of my most important friends as a child.

1. The teddy bear on the left is “Jer Bear,” named after my Grandpa Jerry. He lost an eye in a gruesome battle with a canine ten times his size – the bear, not the grandpa.

2. The tiger in the middle was given to me at birth by another grandpa, so he’s the eldest of the bunch. He shows his age. His nose is only half attached to his face.

3. The third member of the group is the mountain lion, aptly named “Mountain Lion.” Besides his scraggly whiskers that can’t decide which way to go, he’s probably in the best shape of the bunch.

My stuffed animals meant the world to me as a child. I probably had 20 or 30 different animals, but these were my 3 favorite. I had to say goodbye to the others years ago, but Jer Bear, Tiger, and Mountain Lion have stayed with me until now.

Yes, I’m 32. No need to mock me. I know that grownups don’t play with stuffed animals – that’s why they’ve been packed away until now.

Like so many people who feel overwhelmed by their stuff, my wife and I are trying to clear a little clutter from our lives. We recently decided to dismiss 25% of our belongings as part of an experiment on my blog. It’s an attempt to see how attached we are to the items that we own, as well as discover how much we really need. Whatever the result, we’re going to be selling a lot of “crap,” as Baker so elegantly puts it.

Tough Decisions

So, that brings me to an important point. Some of our “stuff” simply consists of rarely-used glassware from Bed Bath & Beyond and a collection of books that I’ve been meaning to read for years, but other items have real meaning.

Some of our stuff has a history. Sometimes there are precious memories attached, and those are the difficult decisions. I’m sure you’ve been there.

Remember that #1 mom mug your children gave you 15 years ago – the one with the coffee stains and the small crack down the side? You’ll never use it again.

You would be wearing your morning coffee within 30 seconds of filling it up. That’s why it’s packed away in your attic. You wouldn’t dare use it, but you wouldn’t dare part with it either. The guilt would be too much. After all, your kids gave it to you!

Why is it so supremely difficult to say good-bye to the lifeless items that we hold so dear?

It has very little to do with the item itself. It has everything to do with the memories that are attached. We feel as though we must hang onto the mug or the stuffed animal in order to maintain those memories. It’s as if your memories of your son would cease to exist if you ditch his old G.I. Joes.

There’s nothing wrong with hanging onto sentimental items, but something needs to be done if you’re honestly trying to simplify your life because there will be memories everywhere you turn.

The Solution: Break Free With A Sentimental Scrapbook

My wife and I have recently started taking pictures of our special somethings. Once we have enough pictures, we’re planning on creating a “sentimental scrapbook”. I figure that people do this all the time with photos of people and experiences, so why not stuff?

Disclaimer: I’m not a crafty person. In fact, I despise scrapbooks. I can’t stand the little construction paper flowers, tiny beads, and $20 stamps. The point of my rant is that the “scrapbook” can be what you want it to be. It can be crafty and flowery if you wish or simple and understated if you’d rather.

Our book will most likely contain a picture along with a story or description. That’s it – just something to glance at from time to time in order to remember some of the important items from our past.

If you like the idea but are allergic to scissors and construction paper, services such as allow you to design your scrapbook online and simply print it out.

Let’s look at it from a logical point of view. If the sentimental clutter is simply stored away in your basement or attic, you aren’t exactly reliving those memories anyway. Creating a sentimental scrapbook allows you to relive the good times anytime you like. Just head over to the bookshelf and thumb through it at your leisure. Isn’t that a whole lot easier than having to dig around in your basement?

Time to Say Goodbye

So, what’s going to happen to my stuffed animals? In the spirit of clearing clutter, I’m going to get rid of one of the three animals.

The others will be the founding members of my son’s future collection. He’s nearly 6 months old now and pretty soon he’ll need a few furry friends too. However, I’m also aware that he probably won’t want to have nothing but hand-me-downs from his dad, so I’ll pass two of the three down to my son and let Mountain Lion go.

Sorry Mountain Lion. We had a good run…and now I’ll have a picture to prove it.


Read more about Chris’s journey at Simple Family Finance – including his wrapup on the “cut 25%” experiment!


Note from Joan: I have to admit that Chris’s post struck a HUGE chord with me. I, by the way, am a 29-year-old chick who sleeps with a teddy bear – and my favorite childhood blanket – and am totally proud of it.

My blanket, in fact, works just like Chris’s “sentimental scrapbook.” In my case, I had a huge problem getting rid of old T-shirts from things like high-school teams, concerts, my dad’s wardrobe (he passed away when I was in middle school), etc.

The blanket (actually a Mickey Mouse sleeping bag) was one of the last gifts my dad gave me, a Christmas present the year before he passed away. That was in the early 1990s – so you can imagine how threadbare it was getting.

Lightbulb! My mom helped me patch the blanket with squares cut from the old T-shirts. They’d only been sitting in a drawer anyway… so 99% of the “shirt material” hit the trash can, and I have one (useful) thing that helps me remember not only my dad, but tons of great times from the past. Some of my daughter’s baby and toddler clothes are even sewn on!


So I’m really going to challenge you today to get creative.

Really think about Chris’s example – and mine – and find a way to downsize some of that sentimental “stuff” – especially if it’s packed away in “storage oblivion.”

Tell us what you’re willing to part ways with in the comments!

60 thoughts on “How To Deal With Sentimental Clutter Without Feeling Guilty”

  1. My solution is sort of similar…I allow myself ONE Rubbermaid storage container labeled “nostalgia.” Only what fits in that container can stay.

    Disclaimer: I’m relatively young (24) and don’t have any kids to make me awesome art and stuff, so I may just be naive, and I may have a house full of nostalgia in about 10 years!

  2. What a good idea! I have some boxes of things I just can’t seem to part with but I think a nice picture would be fine. I don’t think I could ever get rid of my favorite Teddy Bear growing up though. He was so special to me but I really could do this with a lot of other items.

    1. Thanks Julie!
      I’m with you. I think we all have one or two of those “you’ll have to rip this out of my cold, lifeless hands” items 🙂

  3. I can’t take credit for this idea, my friend came up with it. We do triathlons and other races with some regularity and have amassed a collection of “finisher” medals (I have one 2nd place medal!) My husband proudly displays his medals and race numbers on his wall of fame in the garage, but I’m not that excited about mine. At the same time, however, I don’t want to get rid of them. Enter my friend’s idea: hot glue a magnet to the back of the medal and you’ve got some snazzy refrigerator bling! I’ve got a metal board in my office where I stick inspirational sayings, a calendar, and commonly referenced documents. What better to hold these items up than momentos from race days gone by?!

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  5. This is the first article I’ve read which has addressed this issue, which is virtually the last remaining question I had! Over the last ten years I’ve downsized bit by bit, and other than getting rid of the essentials like pots, pans and crockery etc when I plan to go off traveling it was how to minimize the stuff I need to put in storage, which is comprised almost entirely of sentimental stuff connected to my kids’ childhoods. Food for thought, thank you!

  6. Great post! We are dealing with a lot of this right now as we have two small children. It is so hard for us to part with some of their cute clothes – especially the items that they both wear. However, for us, clutter is paralyzing. So, we’ve got ourselves a tote. It lives in our attic. We save just a few of the most important things, and the rest are sold on Craigslist as they grow out of them.

    Again thanks for the article. I can’t wait to check out your blog next!

  7. I also had boxes and boxes of tshirts and swore I’d get rid of them before my last move. People suggested the memory quilt idea, but I nixed it for three reasons: #1, I have plenty of blankets already and don’t need another. That would just be clutter of a different sort. #2, the shirts were in good condition. I’d rather donate wearable clothing to Goodwill, not cut them up into rags. #3, making a memory quilt would eat up either a lot of my time if I did it, or a lot of my money if I hired someone. Instead, I found a neighbor who wanted to make a little cash working from home on a flexible schedule. I paid her for a few hours’ work — far less than quiltifying so many shirts would have cost. She took digital photos of all the shirts, gave me a photo album and the digital files, and took the shirts to Goodwill for me.

    1. Isn’t it funny how Tshirts can hold such a special place in our hearts? I’m the same way. Expecially if they’ve been with you for awhile or you got them at a concert or something. People don’t usually do that with sweaters or khakis, but Tshirts become a part of us.

  8. Christena Little

    We just went through my kids rooms and of course we have the 1st world problem of too much stuff. I did make a deal with them that they were allowed to put stuff in the garage that they weren’t ready to give up but didn’t play with that often. Which means a round two of cleaning but we got a lot more stuff out of their rooms that way. Next step garage sale and if they get any money I have a feeling a lot of things will go up for sale.

    1. Round 2 of cleaning is usually when it’s time to really get down to business 🙂 We did the same sort of thing when trying to decide which items to ditch for our 25% experiment. We would go through and make the easy choices, and then circle back at some point for round 2 and round 3 if necessary. Each time we went a little deeper and the decisions became a little tougher.
      Sounds like you’re on the right track!

  9. Here are some ideas I’ve used for cutting down on memorabilia.
    I kept my son’s old boyscout vest and I attached all his badges, pins, ribbons, etc.
    I took pictures of some items rather than keeping them.
    One thing I kept from my childhood is a miniature Steiff bear. It’s about two inches high and is the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. Since he is almost all I have, I truly treasure him.
    My sister-in-law takes bits of old shirts, hats, etc. that have sentimental value and turns them into beautiful pillows for family members.

  10. Great article which addressed this situation critically.

    I guess it will be good for most Americans to dispose their old belongings to raise more money regardless of how great those stuffs are – they won’t let you break out of debt if you don’t get rid of them and make some money.


  11. what a beautiful post. thanks. I write this with a teddy bear on my lap that I got from my dad, when I was a kid. my father died a couple of years ago, his bear is now almost 60 years old and I forgot how much I loved to hold it… thanks for reminding me. he is almost falling apart, so there is no way he can sleep with me in my bed. that place is already occupied by a little piglet, named willie. I am 28 and I think its perfectly ok to have stuffed animals in your bed. they love you after all 😉

    1. You’re very welcome Lena! Wow – 60 years old. I suppose a picture wouldn’t quite do your teddy bear justice. A photo works for most memories, but a 60 year old bear from your dad isn’t most memories 🙂

      1. I have just been reading your story. I love what you did. making a list of every item I have is also something I want to do. I bet it gives you a real boost in decluttering.

        The picture method works fine with items that I really want to keep but hate the space they take up. like my old pair of red boots in which I travelled though scotland. But I dont want to even consider getting rid of my bear, I mean who would want him anyway? he is totally worn down, his fur is gone, his “skin” shows holes, his right arm is close to falling off and for every other person on this planet probably super ugly. I think he is the most gorgeous bear ever. I will treat him right and see if he can make a century.

  12. I love the idea of making a scrapbook but I’m with Chris in that I hate “scrapbooking” so I’ll call mine a keepsake book. There. Problem solved.

    As for the t-shirts and sleeping bag that Joan mentioned, I have to tell you about my 24-year old daughter. She’s been “repurposing” vintage sheets into cool quilts and selling online, making and giving away patterns for DIY types, and has also taken commissions for quilts that non-DIYers want.

    Issue: an urban (suburban? is there a difference these days when we all buy our stuff from the same few mega-box options?) mother has a son who has recently outgrown his crib and has graduated to a “big boy” bed. Read: toddler bed. She had outfitted the baby room with so many lovely fabrics and coordinated patterns with matching curtains, paint, wallpaper and godknowswhat that she didn’t want to start over just because the wee one grew a little.

    Solution: via #elegantitus this mom had a quilt commissioned for the “big boy bed” which was made out of the crib-sized bedding of his younger months.

    Voila! Problem solved! No garage sales, no buying new bedding for the sake of shopping. And the fabrics get more gentle to the touch as they age. How fantastic is that?

    Wanted to share.

    1. Elaine, I just have to chime in and say how much I love your daughter’s idea. And I am very much a tactile person – so the idea of the “feel” of the quilt growing increasingly nice as it ages is very much an appeal to me as well. I think that’s the thing about a lot of these well-loved shirts; they’re all ultra-soft, which is just a nice feeling! 🙂

      Anyway, good for your family for “getting it” with this idea – and those photos of you and your daughter on her site are super-cute! 🙂

  13. This post is so timely. We recently acquired a few pieces of furniture from my wife’s cousin so we’re sort of rearranging the rooms to accommodate them. The stuffed animals, I all kept. But some of the other things that I’ve been keeping for sentimental reasons, I decided to let go.

  14. When my dad passed away, I asked my mom for all of his old flannel shirts. I made a simple patchwork quilt out of the shirts and gave it to my mom the following Christmas. Four years later she is still sleeping with it. She in turn made pillows for my brother and I with the tiny remainders of the shirts.

  15. My husband and I are about to celebrate 30 years of marriage. We have a great deal of clutter. The idea of a sentimental scrapbook is great and I’m loving the quilt ideas. I can’t imagine David ever getting rid of six full bookshelves though. He’d mutiny. I, on the other hand, am dreaming of the digital nomad life. Finally figured out how to earn an income, sort of, by writing on Now I’m breaking into my own business doing SEO, which could be my ticket to ride. Thanks for the great blog. Nory

  16. I love the scrapbook idea. I’ve been thinking about doing that with kids artwork. Because that stuff piles up like crazy!

    1. That’s perfect Leah! My boy’s only 6 months old, so he’s not drawing up a storm yet, but I can only imagine what will happen when we get to that point. We’ll never want to let a single one go. So, the only options are to become a hoarder, wallpaper our walls with his drawings, or add them to the scrapbook.

  17. lovely teddies 🙂 I think it is amazing how many people still have their childhood teddies. I was never that bothered by teddies as a child yet I still had to many and my parents seem to have kept most of them

  18. My children’s much loved stuffed animals still live my husband and me. The animals are FAMILY MEMBERS! A couple of months ago I offered to let the animals come live with their owners. My daughter nearly stroked, “Mom! You can’t break up the gang!” Alas, the gang reside in a small 10 x 14″ canvas tote. To be honest, the animals have been family members for 21 years, each has a personality, and most have voices–provided by said grown children or me (who will be 60 this year). They are here for the duration with one destined to join me in cremation. On my journey towards minimalism, my rabbit is my companion.

    Chris, I am truly worried about Mountain Lion’s future. You ARE going to pass him on to someone who will treasure him, I hope? It will be difficult enough for him to be separated from his buddies, but to have no family? (I’m not volunteering; the tote is full.)

    1. Pat,

      Thank you for your concern 🙂 Mountain Lion is in a better place. No, he didn’t die and go to heaven…he went to someone who will be able to spend the necessary amount of time and energy on him and love him more actively than I can. (A child’s arms is like heaven for stuffed animals)

      1. Chris, thank you for the update. Mountain Lion is surely in stuffed animal heaven. And I can assure my gang that they are safe as I pursue my quest for a minimalist life. Seriously, your post insightful and helpful.

  19. Ha! I feel the same way. I have a teddy bear that has been around the world with me a couple of times (mission trips, business trips, vacations, etc) To a joking point when I go visit friends they ask if he’s coming with me. I’ve totally justified keeping him by telling myself he’s got so many germs if/when I have kids, he’ll expose them to everything under the sun and therefore they won’t have asthma or chickenpox…

  20. Awesome idea! One thing I would suggest, do it now before you forget all the details of the memory. I have a large collection of pictures that I need to put in a book with notes, but haven’t had the time. If you do a little at a time, it will be easier than playing catch up. The other thing I like to do is display pictures in different kinds of frames all over the house. I have pictures of my son in a fishing frame, a golf frame, a baseball frame, a graduation frame and a wedding frame. This way I get to remember his growing up everyday.

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  22. Great idea! It might not work for everybody though. Taking a picture is a great alternative but it cannot capture the smell and the feel of the items.

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  24. I will probably be going through some of my older CDs and getting rid of the stuff that reminds me of my ex husband or at least the more nasty music that I had been wanting to create a CD to send to him broken heart and all but, seriously now that urge has passed and it is time to let it go if it brings up old memories of him. I plan or hanging on to my Fleetwood Mac albums, Metallica, Megadeth, and Meatloaf. Varied taste in music is what I have thank you very much.

  25. This is a great idea. I love the posts and comments on Man vs Debt for my personal use, but as a business advisor I usually crossover the ideas as they relate to business as well. I have seen some pack rat businesses that hold onto storage rooms full of documents either ‘just in case’ or for sentimental value as well.

    What I like about this post is the balanced application. Picking two of the 3 three stuffies to keep and having a specific reason for keeping them (to pass onto his son), is the key. With my own children (and clients) its alot easier to let go of a few things if you get to keep other items. The idea of taking a picture of the things you need to say goodbye to is a GREAT idea! Especially with the ease of picture taking and sharing with smartphones and online scrapbook or photo filing applications – this is a super easy solution.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Thanks for the comment Steve! I hadn’t thought of the business end of things, but you make a great point. I’ve seen the storage rooms of just about every business that I’ve worked for and you ain’t lying 🙂

  26. Joan, I’ve been quietly browsing this site for the past 2 months and felt compelled to comment today. I, too, am a twenty-something woman who sleeps with her blankie (and husband). I love my blankie! I also hoard t-shirts…well, I’ve slowly managed to keep one from each phase of my life – one from college, one from high school, etc. and ditch the others. I also make sure to wear the shirts at home or at the gym so they just don’t collect dust.

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  28. I adopted a cat from the ASPCA. I named him Supercat and he had been saved form death row. He was 1 1/2 years. I felt good about not adopting a kitten, cause they are so cute and tiny. I named him Supercat, cause he leaps from 7 foot shelves with a single pounce. He also fetches like a dog. He will only eat Fancy Feast tiny little purple cans and dried food.

    Now here’s the catch. I live in a studio apartment in NYC. I have a blind shihtzu and a 30 year old parrot. Now here comes the cat, who’s growing and growing and growing and won’t stop. Did you know there was such a thing as animal clutter? I discovered it when I
    went to herpetology meetings and people pile cage on top of cage.
    Now of course I can’t get rid of Supercat. Yet, he needs more space and tonight I realized so does my blind dog, Cliff. I picked a bunch of magazines off my chair and the cat sat down. The animals stay, but yes, the magazines, the extra clothes that no longer fit or are turned and the 45 animal knick knacks about 18 need to go at least. You reminded me.

  29. Thank you for the advice. I have so many possessions that I keep around for sentimental value. I just cann’t BEAR to get rid of them. Maybe I’ll try some of your suggestions, and see if they work for me!

  30. Thank you for this article! I was taking a break from going through all of my highschool clothes and was feeling kind of depressed actually. I’m glad to know I am not alone and now feel more inclined to actually take all the clothes piled on my bed away to goodwill. I don’t know why I care for those clothes, all it is is a reminder of how skinny I used to be (too skinny actually. Now that I am married to a wonderful man who truly does appreciate me being at my suggested weight for my height I felt it was time to let the clothes go.
    I have done a major trash out once before when I was fresh out of highschool and I still wish I hadnt. I threw away all of my trophies and medals from swim (took 3rd in the California state games yay!) But I kept nothing, so I guess I went over board. Lesson learned. On the note of the item that is to be pried out of my cold dead hands…I still sleep with my 32 year old baby blankets! Thankfully my husband understands that that will NEVER change!
    Anyhow thank you again off to goodwill : )

  31. I have also had a very hard time getting rid of my childrens old toys and clothes, i am afraid that when there toys are gone i will have no memory of them as babies and what they used to love to play with. My husband says that im a hoarder because i truly keep every piece of homework papers. art work and even papers the kids have scribbled on. also i have about 4 garbage bags full of stuffed animals. i will try and take some of the advice on here and hope it helps. Thanks to all of ur suggestions

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  33. Here’s the thing: if your house catches on fire tonight, would you save all those sentimental things you can’t seem to part with? You wouldn’t….because you couldn’t. So I approached this problem by getting a box that I could actually grab and carry, and putting into it the stuff that I thought it would KILL me to lose, along with critically important papers.

    When you approach it from this direction it gets kind of easy. Everything else can go up in flames….or you could sell/donate them now so maybe somebody else can enjoy them.

  34. My mom saved tons of my school work from when I was a child. It had meaning and was special for her and she assumed I’d appreciate it when I grew up. Well, I’m grown now and after looking through that box of work from 1st grade, I deemed it all trash and tossed it with hardly any thought. My mom saved my childhood work for me, but in the end I didn’t want it anyway. If you are a parent, it’s okay to throw your kids work away. If you are bothered by chucking it, scan it in first and then throw the hard copy away.
    Also, as a child I had 4 Cabbage Patch Kids I was obsessed with. I took excellent care of them and kept them in pristine condition so I could pass them on to my children one day (yes, I thought of these things at 10 years old. I was an odd child). I now have a 9 year old who I passed my dolls to several years ago. They have no value to her and she is and has always been 100% uninterested in them. So much for me saving them! Now I can feel good about letting them go. Let your children create their own memories, you can get rid of your old toys because they probably don’t want them anyway.

  35. I don’t scrapbook, but keeping a digital photo album would work too. What a good idea. I come from a long line of pack-rats and have been working to eliminate some things over the years. I am down to some boxes of crap and this will help so much.

  36. I’m late to the party as I have just recently found (and begun to follow) MVD. Like many, this struck a chord with me. I have a lot of stuffed animals from my youth. My husband couldn’t convince me to get rid of them, but he did get me to box 80% of them and place them in the basement closet…because, yeah, that doesn’t take up space. lol We plan on having a garage sale in a few weeks. In addition, I’m going to start “Craigslisting,” and get back into eBaying. We will also donate, donate, donate. My husband will be ecstatic about this. I have set a goal of making $5000 from all of our crap. ha. He doesn’t know that yet. 🙂 This will be our fun money, which I think is important to have if possible (all work and no play principle and all of that). Three things that I WISH I could sell are these hideous dolls that my mom gave me (sorry mom). These are life like babies and also a doll on a stand. She bought them for me because she said they reminded her of me. My husband swears one has moved across the room on its own (that’s another story). 🙂 I can’t sell them because when she comes by I see her play with them , so I know she remembers them. So for now, I’ll keep them. But goodbye to the rest of the fluffy bunch!

  37. I’ve been photographing items for years before saying good-bye to those things which I held close to my heart. It’s overwhelmingly emotional and now I can understand how much easier it is for those folks who have less sentiment than I do. I would strongly recommend that you don’t give up the items until you have completely come to terms with it.

  38. Thank you so much for this post. I’m just completing a round of destuff-ifying. (I’m the type that has to go through my entire place about 2 times a year to slowly get rid of things.) As I start owning less and less, I’m starting to have to face considering getting rid of more sentimental items. Also, as a 20-something individual, I’ve long moved out of my family home, but my stuff hasn’t (including my childhood blankets and a box of stuffed animals) , so slowly I’m moving those items out of my parent’s house. Your post gives me piece of mind for when it comes time for me to pass my stuffed animals onto a new home. I love the idea of taking pictures of them. It will be worth so much more that I will still have something visual to remember them and that they will also be in a good home, instead of them taking up space in my childhood bedroom or even worse, my tiny tiny apartment.

  39. Great idea; I was toying with the idea myself. You sealed the deal when you made a good point about a scrapbook being much easier to look at than digging through all of your stuff. Truthfully, I never actually open the rubbermaid containers…all of my sentimental stuff is in there and I never get rid of them because “I might want to look at them again for the memories.” Scrapbook to the rescue! This will be my project this summer 🙂

  40. I love how you’re broaching the subject. I would like to see if anyone has seen a little different solution. We are moving to Spain and are drastically de-cluttering. We have some sentimental items that we don’t want to go into a landfill but no one really would buy them: deceased mom’s award for dancing, first original fabric art, favorite hand puppet – that have all been loved. We would love to ritually burn them rather than have them molder in the ground. Is this possible? A think it would be a great side business for crematoriums. Alas, it’s not legal in our county to burn other than yard waste. Do you know of any other way to dispose of these and more lovingly instead of sending them out with the trash? Thanks!

  41. A few years ago I took pictures of sentimental items I kept since childhood before discarding them. I filed the pictures on my computer in a folder I labeled childhood memories. I return to that folder and see the items in photos when I want to feel nostalgic. The photo method actually works in keeping the memory intact and associating the item with the event. What I concluded was I don’t need to keep any items in unopened boxes for years taking up space in storage. Instead I take a picture and take up space on my hard drive.

  42. I have taken photos of my old baby dolls they were too beaten up to give to someone so disposing intelligent them was hard to do. But I am glad I have their pictures. I am trying to deal with my grandson’s soccer trophies. He cast them off but I secretly kept them. I can take a photo but then what do I do with them?

  43. Kathleen Rosen

    Pictures are a wonderful idea, but if your hard drive dies those memories go along with it. I’ve learned that the hard way. Make sure to burn copies to a DVD or CD or thumb drive as a backup. Those really concerned with data safety should also look into online backup services (think of the unthinkable: your home burns down and your hard drive and DVD/CD/thumb drive backup along with it). Or, leave a second DVD/CD/flash drive copy with a family member or trusted friend offsite.

    This holds true for important documents (wills, powers of attorney, living wills, insurance policies, etc.).

  44. Recently, I went through all of the stuffed animals that I still have from my youth. I have narrowed it done to a select few that I am going to keep, but the only problem, is that they are quite large. Therefore, they still take up quite a bit of space. I’m really trying to minimalize the clutter in my home, but this is holding me back from that. Anyone have any ideas/tips?

    1. Sarah, you could carefully slit a seam and remove and discard the stuffing, and easily re-stuff the animal when you wanted it entirely intact again.

  45. I had a dozen or so stuffed animals that my mom had saved… I got rid of a couple mouse chewed ones, a couple that smelled funny, and a couple I didn’t care about. Recently I pulled out the half dozen I had left and let my four year old pick which he like (he picked just the puppy and a panda) and mulling it over a few days I realized I felt comfortable getting rid of the 4 he didn’t pick. Now I’m thinking I’ll probably just get rid of the ones he’s picked when he’s done with them. He doesn’t care overly much for stuffed animals.

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