Colleen’s Saturday mission: sentimental clutter

Colleen’s mission for Saturday is to dclutter an item “of your choice and spend 10 minutes questioning the sentimental attachment to other items you own. Consider whether these items really matter or whether it is just the excitement evoked on the rare occasion that you unearth them.”

Here’s something that was decluttered:

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It’s a broken lid holder from my slow cooker. The plastic is cracked and it cannot be re-attached, so why did I put it in my kitchen drawer rather than straight in the bin? No idea! And that’s how clutter can accumulate. Out of sight, it sits there and more things are added, until the cluttered kitchen drawer is overcrowded and the useful lost among the useless.

Now as to sentimental clutter, I have a large chest full of photo albums and momentos from my 8 months’ backpacking trip to Europe, a trip done over 20 years ago. And yes, the items don’t really matter. The brochures, ticket stubs, postcards, they all could go and I would not miss them. I don’t even really I know what’s in there anymore. But on the rare occasion I do open the chest and unearth some brochure, the memories come flooding back.

And frankly, until I become a regular overseas traveller, I will be hanging onto these physical reminders of my only solo adventure, one that I loved and would do again, if I was a 20-something. The freedom, the fun, the sights, the culture, the food, the alcohol, the friends made.

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6 thoughts on “Colleen’s Saturday mission: sentimental clutter

  1. I think the broken stuff, we keep hoping we can fix it, or replace it properly… I’m prone to it too. My top kitchen drawer had a small plastic spoon (like you get with ice cream), don’t ask me why I kept that, as if I’d ever be seeking one!?

    I have kept 3 thick travel books stuck with tickets and photos (old fashioned even in 2006!), and I will keep them for a while – it’s a place to review where I stayed (and recommend them to others). Sure I have (since) put much of it in a spreadsheet, but it’s still nice to touch feel and see!

    • Mmm! A plastic spoon. Yes, we all keep things that make us go mmmm!

      And there’s nothing wrong with an old-fashioned way to record memories. The real thing, that you can hold, so much more satisfying than something scanned and digital.

  2. I have a lot of paper mementos like tickets and brochures. I look at them about once a year and really enjoy it. So for me they are a worthwhile use of space. But I have a lot of less worthy paperwork that I will eventually declutter. I am thinking I may photograph my old letters (which I re-read about every 5 years) because it’s a lot faster than scanning. But will definitely keep the one letter my grandmother sent me.

  3. I really love my photo albums! Most of mine are digital so they take up less space than the ones with actual photographs, but I think it’s a good use of space either way. 🙂

  4. I think you are right to keep your mementos – they are part of your history – I am sure you have many other pieces of paperwork that don’t hold such fond memories that you could throw away instead.

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