The Sentimental Journey of Downsizing

Kim Kubsch

Are you afraid that you will feel naked without all your memorabilia surrounding you in your home? It is perfectly normal to want to hold onto meaningful possessions. If you are grieving or feeling emotionally tender, it’s best to wait six to twelve months before sorting through anything difficult. When you are ready to tackle the sentimental items, read this first!

Give yourself permission to get rid of things you once cherished.

Those possessions that “speak to us in a loud manner” often give us continuity and a sense of self. They prove we existed and have had life. As a result, they are difficult to let go of.

We know that we cannot keep everything.

Consider boxing up and saving the best, while tossing the rest. Using clear boxes and bins (the best visual connection to quickly identify the contents) with lids are the best. Be sure the bins are stackable. Consider sorting by years or events or family members.

Think of holding onto things with an open hand, not a closed fist. For example, take a picture that will last forever (as long as you can find it). Purchasing and setting up a digital photo frame like Aura, Nixplay or Frameo is one way to capture the memory by taking a picture of your photo or item. Look for a frame using Bluetooth. It is easy to click to add the photo from your cell phone to the digital frame.

With your photo memory now captured in an electronic fashion, you are ready to distribute or toss the paper photo. There is no need to keep both. This format offers these features:

* Having your chosen memories on a digital frame that continually shares the memories anywhere in your home. Move the frame from room to room if you like!

* Photos are stored on your cell phone and available to share with others, as well as on the frame.

* Back up the pictures on a USB or “in the Cloud.”

* Free up space in your home by eliminating bins or boxes of print photos.

Don’t be shy to recruit help.

Be mindful of the type of help you recruit. Will you be best supported by someone who is a motivator and cheerleader or someone who is warm, fuzzy, and empathetic? Or someone who can execute your technology needs, like setting up a digital photo frame and instructing you how to operate it?

Dedicate manageable time slots.

Starting with a fresh and rested mind will help you make the best decisions. A marathon approach will not serve you well. Try two to four hours at a time.

Working with your emotional thoughts, not against them, will be essential. Invite those items that feel good, almost like a teddy bear, to surround you for emotional support during this process.

Rather than dreading this process, enjoy your “Sentimental Journey”! Like Doris Day sang, it is a visit to a place that was once very familiar and that brings back memories of the past.

To propel your downsizing efforts prior to your transition, contact me for a free 30-minute consultation. Contact me at 480-720-8566 or [email protected].

Check back monthly for more ideas about organizing, decluttering, and downsizing! Visit to order my book, Getting Your Life Together Organizer, available in printed paperback or downloadable and editable eBook.