Decide Whether To Keep Sentimental Items With Three Questions

Decide Whether To Keep Sentimental Items With Three Questions

We often clutter our spaces with too much stuff: souvenirs, antiques from previous generations and gifts are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re willing to put your feelings aside, here’s how to objectively evaluate whether an item is worth keeping, or if you’re keeping it for sentimental purposes.

Picture: Phillip Stewart/Flickr

Unclutterer’s Jacki Hollywood Brown suggests asking yourself these questions to decide whether or not you should dispose of something:

  • If you had to purchase the item yourself, at full price, would you?
  • If someone you didn’t like gave you the item as a gift, would you still keep it?
  • Does the item invoke happy memories?

If you answered no to any of these questions, consider getting rid of the item.

Just because an item is sentimental doesn’t mean you have to throw it out, but it does mean you should be honest with yourself about why you’re keeping it. There can be a few items that are worth their weight in happy memories or achievement. Trophies, keepsakes from family or late relatives, or just things that mean more to you than they’re physically worth, for example.

With that said, these questions help you take a more logical approach to your clutter. If an item has no value except sentimentality, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth keeping. If you’re hanging on to a lot of items simply to preserve memories, try taking pictures instead.

Going on a sentimental journey [Unclutterer]

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.