Journalist Kara Morrison’s article “8 tips on how to declutter and let go of sentimental items” for The Arizona Republic on August 5 included great advice for people struggling with memorabilia clutter. A number of the tips really struck home with me and made me think, “why don’t I do that?”
One ah-ha tip from the article:
8. Correspondence and documents: There’s no way you can hang on to every Christmas card or letter. McGivney suggests treating holiday cards like kids’ art. Keep only the best. Then make a holiday album you store with the seasonal decor to remember great holidays past.
Morrison interviewed Julie Hall, author of The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff, for the sixth decluttering tip. In this section, Hall provides a very practical definition for how to decide what is clutter and what isn’t:
“Keep the stuff that really, really means something to you, and let the rest go,” Hall said.
“Really, really means something to you” isn’t a scientific definition by any account, but it is one that all of us can relate to our lives. I call this the Cry Factor — if losing it in a disaster would make me cry, I don’t get rid of it.