Organize Sentimental

How to organize sentimental items and showcase joy in your home

Why do I have so many keepsakes?

  • We hold onto items to remember and cherish the past
  • When we see and feel these items we relive moments in the past

Remember & Reframe

  • Truly special memories never die, even when we discard items associated with such events.
  • The joy and excitement of the here and now is more important than holding onto something from the past, only to forget about it.
  • The boxes we store in the attic, back of the closet, under the bed often remain there, untouched.
  • When we store sentimental items away they become a weight from our past that holds us back from moving forward in the present.
  • The space in our home is for the person we are and want to become, not who we were in the past.
  • Organize sentimental photos now and display them throughout your home or in a photo album to enjoy for the rest of your years.

The Guide to Organize Sentimental


  • Remove all photos from albums and boxes
  • Joy Check photos one by one
  • Try to keep only five photos per a trip/event
  • Very important photos don’t often have duplicates
  • Keep scenery photos when you can identify the trip/event

“The meaning of a photo lies in the excitement and joy you feel when taking it. In many cases, the prints developed afterward have already outlived their purpose.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo


  • A letter fulfills it’s purpose the moment it’s read
  • The person who wrote it has long forgotten the existence of the letter, its content, and has moved on.


  • Keep it if it truly sparks joy
  • Be courageous and say goodbye if
    • you held onto this item because of a sense of guilt
    • it sparked joy in the past but doesn’t spark joy in the present
    • adds joy to who you are today, not who you were
    • the items served its purpose in your life and by letting it go, frees more space in your home and mind for today and tomorrow

Childhood Memorabilia

  • Stuffed animals feel like they have souls. They were with us in our fondest childhood memories.
    • If it sparks joy for you to hold and see – Display it on a shelf or in your closet
    • If you choose to discard a stuffed animal it helps to cover the eyes.

How to Joy Check

  • Step 1: Pile all sentimental items
    • If you have many photos, it’s okay to create a separate pile of just photos
  • Step 2: Pick one item that undoubtedly sparks joy
    • If you keep it, where will it be stored?
    • Will you display it so you can see and enjoy it?
    • Ask yourself honestly, does it bring you joy today and in the future?
    • Does this item help you cherish who you are now?
  • Step 3: Place items in Keep, Donate, or Trash
  • Step 4: Display keepsakes on walls and shelves to spark joy every day!
  • Step 6: Have the courage to let go & say thank you

Final Touches

When we display sentimental items we remember and celebrate who we were. We are also reminded of who we are now and who we strive to be.

  • Hang sentimental photos on the wall to look at it
  • Display sentimental items to spark joy daily

What sentimental item do you display proudly in your home?

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“By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past. If you just stow these things away in a drawer or cardboard box, before you realize it, your past will become a weight that holds you back and keeps you from living in the here and now.”

– The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

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