The problem with the decluttering trend is that it neglects the reality of how much material things can matter to human beings.
Items don’t have to be valuable in money terms to be precious. Sentimental value is just as important and if you ignore it you can create emotional voids that are hard to fill up again.
The Comfort of Stuff
The stuff we collect and hang onto over time has meaning, from old photographs to holiday souvenirs. They document life’s journey, celebrating the high spots and milestones achieved. When you look back over the years, all those collected items have a story to tell, and that story adds up to a life lived.
Memories reside in all those bits and bobs that litter your work surfaces, cover your walls, and fill your cupboards. Even the oversized pieces of furniture, whether inherited or passed on from friends, have a place in your heart. These things are important. They give shape and meaning to life and are the backbone of your personal history.
If you get rid of these possessions when you clear out a cupboard, you’re getting rid of a slew of memory-triggers you can never get back.
Go Easy on the Culling
So maybe we should turn the whole decluttering movement on its head and figure out a way to have the best of all worlds. A way that we can keep hold of treasured items while still having plenty of space in our homes.
Better to figure out some smart storage solutions than to dump your treasures and lose them forever. That may sound a little dramatic but honestly, you can only sell or give away something once. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Sure, you can recall it in your mind but that’s like having a photograph of a special person when what you really want is to hold their hand or talk to them.
Instead of culling your haul, get creative with fresh ways to display everything. You could put up some new shelves, invest in some attractive tubs or baskets, fix a pegboard to the wall for tools or memos… anything to help things look organised and cared for.
Having lots of possessions doesn’t mean you automatically have to live in a nightmare of muddle and confusion.
Ringing the Changes
If your cherished objects are overtaking the house, consider renting a self storage unit for the overflow. It’s a gentler method of space saving than decluttering and the tough choices that often involves. Storage rooms come in all sizes, even small lockers, so you don’t actually have to throw things away in order to get more space at home.
The other joy of having a self storage space is that you can swap things around whenever you want to. When you get bored with displaying one collection, pack it up and bring out a different one. You can do this with everything, from wall art to furniture, creating a new look at home with items that give meaning in your life.
Finding storage for extensive collections can be challenging, but it’s perfectly possible to love your hoard and still keep the house in good order.