People often ask me how to store their sentimental items. 


If you’re ready to declutter but are uncertain of what to do with/how to store your sentimental items. Check out some of my answers to these frequently asked questions.

Continue reading below for my tips on how to store and display your sentimental items


What do I do with sentimental items?


While everyone deals with sentimental items differently it’s important to understand why you’re keeping something in the first place. 

If you’re holding on to something for the memory of it, keeping it in a box won’t allow you to access those memories regularly. So, if you can, find a way to incorporate it into the decor of your home.  For example, a beautifully embroidered handkerchief from your Grandma Bev? Frame it and hang it up. 

I also encourage you to use sentimental items when you can, even if they’re delicate or breakable. For example, I have crystal glasses that belonged to my great-grandparents.  My grandfather told me how he remembered using them as a child and it gives me the joy to know that there is continuity through generations.  We use them most weeks for Shabbat. Yes, some of them have broken but that’s ok, we use what we have.   Things are meant to be used. My kids see me set a beautiful Shabbat table, and hopefully, they’ll be able to use them when they are adults and remember how beautiful our table looked. As they need replacing I look for coordinating styles so I can mix and match them together. 

If you are holding on to an object because you feel obligated to hold it, because it was a gift or because it belonged to someone you love(d), I give you permission to let it go. There isn’t any need to feel guilty about letting go of something you aren’t using.  

There’s no need to hold onto things that aren’t serving you.  In fact, letting go of those things allows people who need them to use them.  My feelings about this are simple.  G-d gave you a blessing with that object.  If you aren’t using it anymore, pass your blessing onto someone else and make room for abundance to come into your life. 

Letting go of things you don’t need creates space for the things you do need to come into your life.  When you reduce the number of possessions you own you can reduce your worry and increase your space.


How should I determine what to keep and what to toss?


Once you examine why you’re keeping something it’ll be easier to figure out if you should keep it or toss it.  Here are few guidelines:

  • Anything that is no longer usable should be recycled or trashed. 
  • Anything you can display you should, but if you don’t feel like it fits in your decor you can take a picture and let it go.
  • Gifts you aren’t using can be donated or recycled
  • Inherited items we don’t have space for or won’t use can be donated or recycled
  • Things that are private and you don’t want people to see you should let go of. If you don’t feel ready to do that make sure to mark the box they are stored in as private.  For example, I saved letters from when my husband and I were dating.  We try to go through them on our anniversary.  After we had kids, there were several we felt that we wouldn’t want them to see, so we let those go. The things we are ok with them looking at we saved. 
  • If you aren’t quite ready to let something go – that’s ok!  Put a date on your calendar to go back to it in 6 months or a year and examine it again. This is particularly important if the items in question could be useful to someone else.  If they are sitting in a box where no one looks at them and they aren’t serving their purpose it isn’t helpful for you or anyone else. 
  • When it comes to children’s artwork or records it is doubtful that your kids will want to see most of it.  You can save the very best pieces in a SMALL file box or folder for them, but limit it to what can fit in the box.  This may mean you need to sort it out every year or so. 


How do I store sentimental items?


Whenever possible – display and use what you can. If that isn’t possible I suggest storing all sentimental items together in one box or area.  I prefer when clients put them in out-of-the-way areas of their homes.  Things you don’t access regularly shouldn’t be in prime real estate. So a garage or the top of a closet is a good place.  

When storing photos or letters or other documents, make sure that the containers you use to store items in are archival – like this storage box.

For storing large bulky items like blankets or sentimental clothing – you want to keep bugs away but make sure the fabrics can breathe. 

Many people are tempted to use plastic bags – and you can if you live in a very moist area or need to store things in a place that has increased moisture but you should use cedar chips and canvas when possible. Wrap in archival paper to protect the fabric as well. 

If you want to display fabrics or textiles you can use shadow boxes or have custom frames made.  You can also use these small wall clamps – or this larger hanger clamp.

If you want to display artwork, documents, or photos but don’t want a classical frame you can use this picture hanger These are great if you want to display small objects or children’s artwork – since they open from the front you can switch them up as your heart desires.

Decluttering your items does not mean putting things into storage or giving them away, especially with sentimental items.

If you are ready to declutter, join me in a Power Hour session today to help you get started!