Within the last two years, I have moved five times and pared down possessions more and more each time. One area I noticed I kept a lot of excess over the years was keepsakes! Whether photos, scrapbooks, cards, letters, childhood memories, wedding brochures or other "meaningful" randomness -- I had too much! I learned that it may have had meaning at one time, but if it currently meant nothing to me, or if it was "someone else's memory" (such as a wedding brochure), I needed to let it go. Some are great at not bringing these home in the first place, however, I tend to enjoy the prettiness of things like that for awhile, and even keep it for inspiration to make invitations of my own!
If I felt emotional attachments to certain random things, such as the pair of soccer cleats I wore during JV days with purple sweet spots, I took a photo of them and passed them on to Goodwill. What it represented to me was memories, trips with my soccer team, and victories won, but I had no use for the actual cleats. As Laura Gaskill in this Houzz article so aptly puts it, "Honor your feelings, but respect your space."
During the second move, I became more intentional with keepsakes by putting a limit on what I would keep and what I would toss. I decided I would only keep as much as would fit in a 27-gallon bin like this one from Wal-Mart:
Whatever would not fit in this would get the boot! That caused me to prioritize what was important to me and what was not. In my keepsakes bin, I have meaningful greeting cards (tossed the ones with simply a signed name), letters from childhood penpals, my senior scrapbook, some mementos from high school and college, and a folder of certificates I've won over the years, among other things.
When deciding what I would keep, I asked myself these questions,
It satisfies my simplicity bug to fit it all in one tote-able bin, and be free of the rest!
Keep on the lookout for an upcoming giveaway on my Facebook page. Follow the page to see blog post updates from this blog with organizational tips and articles, inspirational photos, and any seasonal specials I offer.
Until then, this is my number one organizational motto:
Strive for function, not perfection.
Your closet doesn't have to look like an ad for the Container Store, as long as it works for you! Can you find what you need when you need it? Does the system make sense to you? Don't feel like you need to spend money on an expensive shelving overhaul in the name of organization. Rearrange what you have, purge what you don't use and love, and discover what works for you personally.