Often, we tie memories and experiences in our lives to the things we had during those times. A ticket stub reminds us of our first date with a significant other, maybe an old clothing item that we’ve had since high school. We can have deep emotional connections with the things around us, even if we don’t see them every day. It could be in a junk drawer, or in a box in the basement. It doesn’t matter where it exists, it just matters that when we find it, we feel all the feelings and live that moment again.
Most of the time, if that movie ticket had simply disappeared, we wouldn’t have known it was gone. It wouldn’t be missed and we’d still be the same person with or without it.
Experiences and memories shape us into who we are in this moment. The things we do in the past will always be reflected in our present selves regardless of whether we have the things around that remind us of those actions.
Our memories are built into us, and make us who we are. While we may not remember the exact situation or time that something important may have happened in our lives, the results are within us. We’ve evolved to become the people we are today because of those experiences.
If something brings you great joy when you hold it, you don’t have to get rid of it for the sake of decluttering. If you’re struggling to declutter because you’re afraid to lose a part of yourself or a fond memory along with the item, find a creative way to commemorate it. You may find that it lessens the emotional connection to the thing and increases the connection to the story it represents.
By writing and recording our stories, we’re able to relive them while allowing ourselves to be freed of the physical possession that comes with it.