Minimalism – Throwing out Sentimental Things



So many of us hold onto little trinkets, souvenirs, keepsakes, and different objects that remind us of good times, special occasions, and things that we don’t want to forget. I’m not really sure if many of us are really all just closet hoarders or just very, very sentimental, loving, sweet, and want to hold onto things that remind us of moments that we cherish. I mean sure, we all want to remember special moments, but to what extent is it healthy to keep them all and for how long is the question. In this article, I wanted to share my thoughts on when it’s appropriate to let go of sentimental things and why it’s O.K. to do so.

Sometimes, it’s good to just hit refresh in our lives in ways that will make us feel clean, new, and as if there’s a brand new start. Many times, holding onto sentimental memories actually holds some people back from personal and spiritual growth. Sometimes, we need to let go of sentimental items so that we can actually move on. And maybe there’s a spiritual component to it, but it definitely feels as if it’s a form of detoxing and deep cleaning the soul.


Just because sentimental items, pens, clothes, shells, or anything superficial but sentimental is gone, lost, passed down or given to someone else, or even thrown out, it doesn’t mean that the memories are lost or gone. Memories will stay with you. And even if you have a bad memory and tend to forget most things, the feeling will remain. I truly feel that most people would be happier if they strived towards minimalism. We shouldn’t have to consume so much, and by so much, I mean, so much of everything! We don’t need to buy so much, to eat so much, or to keep so much. It’s time to start letting go of our old routines and our old bad habits that we’re just so used to.

Think about it! We’re so bad with holding onto things and consuming, that we can’t even let go of bad habits, even though they’re so bad! Deep cleaning, organizing, and throwing out old stuff will make you feel better. It would be almost impossible not to feel better after cleaning out your home from a bunch of old memories. Make new memories and learn to embrace the moment. I recommend taking pictures and putting them in albums, but don’t save straw wrappers and whatnot, that you likely will look back at one day and realize that you forgot who or what and why the heck did you save that again?


Being naked feels good. Random, right? Yeah, I know, but it’s true. Being totally baby butt naked feels awesome, pure, and especially, right after your towel-dried from a warm, soothing, and cleansing shower. Try to imagine what life would be like, if you lived minimally, and only bought, ate, drank, and saved things that were of true value. Imagine how different your life would be if you let things go that were holding you back in life or confusing you. And whether you realize it or not, many times, we are confusing ourselves and holding onto our pasts, when we need to accept our pasts, remember the good, learn from the bad, and move forward with light and love towards new experiences, new beginnings, and new moments to create beautiful new memories.

The right time to let go of things is simply when you’re ready to do so. Compartmentalize that you will not be losing memories by throwing away objects of sentiment. Keep one or two items that you hold dear, but if you start saving everything, you’re going to have more clutter and dysfunction in your life, whether you realize it now or not. Now don’t get me wrong, because I save some things and definitely pictures, and I keep things of sentiment that are of true value to me and that make me happy. However, I no longer save things that emotionally hold me back or dirty my home and look like clutter, despite the beautiful sentiment or memory that’s attached.


Declutter! Look at the memories once more, make peace, and toss em! Make space, open doors, and open your soul up to what’s to come in the future. Who needs a shadow of a memory, when there’s so much light and beauty yet to discover. Open your eyes when you travel, open your window when you fly, and open up your heart to creating new memories and experiencing new things each and every day. The reality is, that you don’t need much to be happy.

Anne Cohen
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