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!