How do you beat clutter if said clutter is sentimental? What methods do you use for evaluating sentimental objects or souvenirs?
I've been something of a packrat for years. Now I'm at the point where myself and my partner are seriously considering what will happen in the future and how we're going to get there. So I need to declutter - partly to try and reduce a source of conflict, and partly to make money and space to facilitate getting a place together down the line.
When I was a kid, my parents didn't allow me to have a console, then my brother bought me one. Me and a friend played it for a year, just Super Mario World, until my parents persuaded me to sell it and a lady came to my house to give me £35 for it, telling me it was old now and wouldn't sell for much. I don't know if I'd still be playing Super Mario World now if I'd kept the console, but when it comes to getting rid of things because I feel like I ought to I end up thinking of this.
I have a collection of Blythe dolls
and accoutrements. My partner and I disagree about the merits of these to say the least. I collected them for a year or so, and for the past 18 months they've sat in a box in the attic. Yet when I think about whether I need them, I end up feeling as though to get rid of them would be closing the door on a part of my life when I was 'the girl who collected Blythe dolls'. Or I remember how much money I've spent on them in the past. I realise that I'm almost thirty, that I enjoyed drinking coffee in Paris far more than I've ever enjoyed spending the same amount on a doll, and the whole 'use it or lose it' principle that de-clutterers are fond of. So why is it hard to let go?
I think part of it is the worry of not being able to replace decluttered things - books are easy to get rid of, but out of print books? OH is trying to persuade me to go digital with my record collection, for example, but I can;t bring myself to get rid of a very strong reminder of my teenage years, never mind the space, never mind the arguments that vinyl is obsolete (to which I reply that people still paint even after the invention of photography). Yet they take up space, and they aren't something I'm using right now because I live in a 48sq.ft room in a shared house.
How do you choose with things that are unlikely to be replaceable - hang on to them, take a Zen attitude, or judge everything by whether it's being used right now?