Believe it or not, many of the people featured on TLC’s hit show Hoarding: Buried Alive categorize the seemingly endless possessions that have taken over their home as sentimental clutter.

Typically, people that hoard numerous items initially refuse to throw away their possessions in fear that they might toss out something they may one day need.  Some hoarders also tie objects to particular memories or emotions making it more of a challenge to clear clutter.

While sentimental clutter comes in all shapes and sizes, the longer you hold onto it, the harder it becomes to finally dispose.

Of course, everyone has a few possessions that they value too much to throw away. In my case those items include:

  • Birthday cards from my mother
  • Undergraduate report card of my first 4.0
  • My National Deans list letters
  • Acceptance letter to graduate school
  • David Robinson rookie basketball card
  • Scooby-Doo, Scooby Snacks (collectors edition box)

Yet, when the lines of need and nonsense become indistinguishable, you may need to ask yourself if the extra clutter is worth the added confusion.

With this in mind, here are three questions you should ask yourself when attempting to dispose sentimental clutter.

Can you live without it?

While this may be a tricky question for a hoarder to answer, it’s a great starting point when attempting to clear your home of sentimental clutter.  As yourself if the item in question serves a particular purpose.  Does it make your life easier?  Do you even you use it regularly?

In regards to my collector’s edition Scooby-Doo Scooby Snacks box, of course I can live without it. However, it would be a painful life.

Is it over a year old?

If you have year-old birthday cards, newspapers or Popsicle-stick mock ups lying in plain sight in your home, it may be time to find a new place to store your possessions.

If you’re not comfortable throwing the outdated materials away, the least you can do is box it up and store it somewhere that out of plain sight.

When is the last time you used it?

The phrase use it or lose it can definitely be applied when attempting to rid your home of sentimental clutter.

If you have not used your Jenga set to practice your mental skills since it was created in 1983, leaving the dusty wooden blocks on display for your company to view won’t leave a good intellectual impression.

The same is true for any seldom used clutter lying in plain sight. If you don’t use it, lose it!

When attempting to rid your home of sentimental clutter, it’s truly an issue of mind over matter; so if it’s not on your mind, it probably does not matter if you toss it.

If you find yourself having trouble throwing away sentimental clutter that’s transforming your home into an episode of Hording: Buried Alive, use the tips listed above and rid yourself of gilt and useless items at the same time.

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