Showing posts from July, 2021

Processing Sentimental Items

Birthdays. Holidays. Gifts from loved ones abound. Some gifts are long-lasting, physical items like clothing and accessories, books and other media, and trinkets. Others are short-lived but enjoyable consumables like dinner-dates and bottles of wine. Some sentimental items are left to us whether we wanted them or not--whether the items are gifts or just the possessions of someone who is no longer with us. It's the long-lasting gifts and other people's left-behind posessions that can present the most challenge in our efforts to declutter. There are a few facets of gifts and other sentimental items that can make parting with them difficult. In the case of the gift-giver still being alive and in contact, not wanting to part with an item might come from a place of guilt or feeling that the giver could be hurt if they knew you discarded an item they gave to you. In the case of the gift-giver having passed away, not wanting to part with an item might come from a place of needing to h

The Dreaded Junk Drawer: A Mess That Always Comes Back

Some time ago, I wrote about how my discarding and decluttering habits helped me empty my junk drawer. Well, it's a couple of years later now and the chaos slowly crept back. This time, I'm going to tackle it once and for all... but with a different end goal in mind What is a junk drawer? For anyone who doesn't know what a junk drawer is, it's a pretty ubiquitous phenomenon across American homes. My parents, my husband's parents, tons of our friends' parents all had junk drawers... and we do, too. The junk drawer varies from home to home, but generally it's a potpourri of seemingly useful objects all mingling together in a useless and chaotic way. For my parents, the junk drawer was where rubber bands, paper clips, one-off nails and screws, screwdrivers without a matching set, and other small tools ended up. In other junk drawers I've seen, there have been souvenir spoons, thimbles, tiny dollar store sewing kits... all sorts of things. The worst part abo