Clients often say, “You have nothing sentimental. I bet you throw everything out.” That’s not true. I just choose what to be sentimental about. I choose what will add value, joy, and positive memories instead of allowing “everything” to be a keepsake. Everything can’t qualify as special and unique.
Every greeting card you’ve ever received from family and friends cannot be unbelievably great. Some will just say, “love Aunt Sue”. Some might just say, “thank you for the gift and your kindness towards are family.” The one I’d choose to keep would read, “Amber, I’m so proud of you for accomplishing that difficult challenge. You have exceeded my expectations in every way. I love you.” Do you see the difference?
Every picture taken or artwork drawn cannot be the most amazing piece of work. For example, A hand drawn picture of your family and dog would be more important than a scribbled out name. I would toss the piano recital participation letter and keep “your child won first place at the science fair”. Again, do you see the difference?
Every lace doily and china cup from your mother or grandmother can’t be your absolute favorite. If she had collections and used things daily that were special to her, doesn’t mean they have to be special to you. Your mother or grandmother is more than a doily or china cup. Just because you don’t keep everything doesn’t mean you’re throwing out your family member. Choose the one or two or three items that are beautiful to you that will trigger good memories with her.
You get the privilege, power and choice to surround yourself and keep only things you get absolutely jazzed about seeing. Take that task seriously and up the ante about what you consider extra special. This might be harsh but I think it’s a cop out to just keep everything. Keepsakes trigger memories; that’s why we hang onto them. A few keepsakes are all we need. Taking pictures of things and looking back at those pictures will trigger the same memory.
So what do I keep? The teddy bear I slept with as a little girl, counseling notes and handouts that helped me through a very tough time ( I can see how I’ve grown), one letter from my grandma, two rocks that sit on my desk from a special northern Wisconsin lake I vacationed at, and one very special drawing my niece (it impacted me so much it brought me to tears.)
How about you? Are you ready to search for the extra special and let the rest go?