Decluttering sentimental items can be one of the most difficult tasks when trying to decide what to keep and what to let go of because these items have incredible power for us. Whether it’s an old toy that was purchased by a loving aunt or a chest full of antique cutlery, these items can’t seize to pull at our heartstrings.
Although this can be quite difficult for many of us, it’s also a big part of the healing process that we journey on when we’ve lost someone that is dear to us. This journey doesn’t mean that we are looking to forget about our loved one. In fact, it’s doing the opposite. It’s allowing us the opportunity to honour that person and cherish the memories that they evoke inside of us. Decluttering can actually help us to connect with lost loved ones in a number of different ways.
1) Recapture Our Memories
When we declutter our homes, we may come across items that we haven’t laid eyes on for years. Uncovering these things has the power to bring memories flooding back of those people that are no longer with us, possibly memories that have been buried deep inside that we forgot we even had. By bringing the thoughts and feelings attached to these memories back into our conscious mind, we are allowing space to feel closer to our loved ones. We are giving ourselves the time to sit and feel those feelings, think those thoughts, reflect on how different people have shaped the person that we are today.
2) Honouring Our Loved Ones
The act of decluttering the items from our home that we no longer want or love helps us to create space not only in our houses but also in our thoughts. By clearing the external clutter, we are also having the same effect internally even though we may not realise it at the time. With our minds being released from just a few of the busy, crazy, whirlwind thoughts that are swirling around, we will have the mental space to allow the memories of our loved ones to resurface. Remembering someone is one of the greatest honours that we can give them.
3) Retelling The Stories
Have you ever come across and item from your past, and a memory associated with that item and the people involved come rushing back? These can be truly precious opportunities for us to not only remember the loved one but also to share the stories about our loved ones with friends and family. Sharing can make us feel connected to those that are no longer with us, and we are keeping their memory alive by passing on their story.
4) Passing On Heirlooms
Digging through the contents of old boxes or packed cupboards can uncover hidden treasures especially when it comes to items that have been passed onto us from a loved family member. Rediscovering these things gives us the chance to pass these heirlooms on to other family members. The important thing is to make sure that the story that is attached to that particular heirloom is also passed on in some way. Re-gifting these items to the next generation in our families keeps the memories of our loved ones alive and ensures that their legacy continues for years to come.
Decluttering not only presents the opportunity to find those hidden treasures from loved ones that we want to cherish but it also find the items that we have no attachment to or don’t really want. Making decisions about these things is so difficult because we are often plagued with guilt about letting items go that have been passed onto us from loved ones. This is one of the biggest reasons people hold onto things that they really didn’t want or need in the first place. Remember that the love is in the giving, and once we have received the item, we have already received the love. The decision of what to do afterwards is up to us. Loved one would not want us to feel guilt, well, most of them anyway! By letting go of items that are no longer serving us, we can release the emotional attachment they have on us and move forward with a sense of peace and acceptance. This act of closure can often be comforting to us.
Going on the journey of removing clutter from our homes can be a very powerful way to reconnect with loved ones that are no longer with us. Giving ourselves the permission to do this is so important as it allows us to heal and move forward in our lives, one step at a time.