Mom-to-Mom Support/I am in the process of decluttering

I am in the process of decluttering

Woman goes through memorabilia with sentimental value


My elderly parents have been deceased for a while. I have given away many of their clothes but still have a few items which remind me of them and I find hard to part with. I am in the process of getting ready to move and would like to give some more away. Are there any criteria that could help me with this question? Some of their things that I have still hung on to are of sentimental value; others are things that I will eventually give to a museum in Poland since my dad was a Polish soldier who fought under General Anders in Africa and Italy. Thank you for any advice you can give.

Dear Friend,

Thank you so much for your email. From what I read, I am deeply touched by your closeness to your parents and commend you for your desire to give away to a Polish museum. Your desire to give is more than half the journey to simplify.

I normally follow a 3-S rule when it comes to clutter in general. I ask myself if I :

1) will use the item in Six months to one year
2) have Storage space to keep the item
3) have System of retrieval when I need the item right away.

If I say yes to all three, I normally keep the item.

When it comes to keeping things with sentimental value, I normally follow a 3-H rule. I normally keep anything that reflect:

1) History—family photographs, heirlooms, journals, etc.
2) Heritage—like art or memorabilia that reflect your family’s ethnic background
3) Holiness—books and sacred images

I do however, give myself a limit as far as storage units for all my 3-H items. For example, I give myself a small curio for items that reflect my heritage. I also keep a certain number of religious images per room and a curio drawer to keep books for spiritual reading. Anything above and beyond that I try to give away to family members or very close friends.

Thank you again for your email and I hope this helps! May God bless you in your journey to simplify!

Abby Sasscer

About Abby Sasscer

Abby Sasscer was born in the Philippines and came to the United States in 1986. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Averett University. She is a natural-born organizer and enjoyed systemizing small offices and home offices as a career before staying home to raise and homeschool her three children.