Downsizing and decluttering can be quite a big task, so it can be easy to forget about the emotional impact it can have on us.
One common reason many of us end up with so many things to begin with is that we tend to keep things around for sentimental value. You might not have found a place to display an old trophy from school, but that’s not really why you’ve kept it.
Having to part with our belongings can prompt some difficult decisions. You might have to decide between different objects with important emotional histories, and it’s not always as simple as hanging onto everything you might want.
In these cases, one of the best things we can do is to pass an item on. Especially if it’s a family treasure that you yourself inherited, continuing its journey to a new relative or friend is the best way to give you a relieving sense of closure and peace of mind if you’re unable to hold onto it yourself.
But even if you can’t find someone you know personally to gift an heirloom, it’s better to see that it ends up in the hands of someone who’ll appreciate it, than to throw it away. This is especially true if you’re fortunate enough to be able to get to know the recipient a little, as this will help to set your mind at ease knowing that your beloved item is going to a good home.
Sometimes, though, we don’t have the option of keeping something, or giving it to someone we care about. In these cases, it’s best to look deeper, and ask yourself why the item is so important to you.
If it reminds you of someone you love, whether they’re still with you or not, then chances are they’d prefer you to treasure the memories associated with it, rather than to stress yourself out over the object itself.
If you don’t want to keep an item but you want to keep the memory of it, then it can also be a good idea to take a photo of it to look back on should you wish to. Many people find this to be a great comfort.