Decluttering: Handling Items You Don’t Need But Can’t Throw Away
Updated: Jan 28
Piles of your children’s artwork from twenty years ago. Boxes stacked on boxes of old family pictures. A six foot tall grandfather clock that now lives in your garage. A collection of handmade table linens you inherited from your aunt. We get it; you don’t want to abandon these cherished items, but your storage space is getting cluttered these days and you don't use these items in your daily life. What do you do?
We won’t sugarcoat it: if you have no practical use for these items in the future, you should consider discarding them. With today’s technology, you can immortalize your grandchild’s finger paintings without taking up any space in your attic.
Take Pictures & Store Them
A great way to declutter and keep your memories safe is to take pictures of everything and upload them to an online file sharing service or an inexpensive flash drive. Today’s phones capture stunning resolution, so you won’t have to worry about finding a camera to capture everything in high quality. There are FREE resources such as Google Photos and Dropbox which allow you to upload thousands of pictures to their storage. Once uploaded, they stay there forever. You can give other family members access to these files simply by adding them via email.
Want to learn how to quickly scan old pictures/artwork onto your phone? Watch this short video by YouTuber Maker Mama:
If you want to go the extra mile, SnapFish.com will take the images of your cherished items and turn them into stunning photo books!
3-Dimensional Heirlooms and Objects of Value
If you have any beloved 3 dimensional objects that serve you no practical purpose and are cluttering up your space, not to fret! We also recommend taking photos of them to digitize them. You might have to take a few photos from different angles, but we think it’s more worth it to do this rather than having a cluttered home.
After you’ve photographed your heirlooms, it’s time to re-home them. There are many ways you can re-home your objects:
Sell them online/online auction
Host an estate sale
Find a new owner you know will enjoy your item(s)
In the worst-case scenario, you can also throw them away after you’ve gone through your other options. We think it’s best to try and get your money’s worth out of each item that needs to be re-homed before moving towards your last option. We know it’s difficult discarding items that have added meaning to your life, but once you let them go, you’ll feel much happier, more energized, and might even sleep better according to this article by the BBC.