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Decluttering 101: You could keep a journal

A few weeks back, a friend mentioned a post that they'd read somewhere on a site about notebooks or journals, in which the person decided to keep a decluttering/downsizing journal. What that particular person had done was to draw pictures of the items they were letting go, and then write down the story of that particular item. (Who it came from, how it was used, etc.)

And I tried very, very hard to find that post, but could not (nor could my friend), but she sent me another link, which I'm sharing with you today, about a decluttering journal kept by a woman as she was in the process of getting a divorce and preparing to move out. Here is the link to the start of Aisling's Decluttering Journal, which is an interesting, if somewhat painful, read. Her journal is more about the emotional journey she was engaged in than about the objects she was packing.

Another site I visited (Pagan Path, which included an article about the liberating power of purging your space) recommended that you have a friend around as you clear things out, so you can "share stories about items that are deeply steeped in memories and psychic energy. Once you have shared the memories and stories about an item, you may find that you no longer need the actual item in your life." That site recommends that you might also want to use a journal (actual paper or online) to paste a picture of the item into and write about it - what its history is, what memories and/or psychic toxins it might be holding - and then donate the item. You get to keep the journal as a sort of memoir/memento, which might make it simpler to pass the item(s) along.

A third site (Man vs Debt), recommended that you create a "sentimental scrapbook", which will contain a picture of their sentimental objects plus a short story. The author of the article, Chris Tecmire, (wisely, I think) notes the following:

Let’s look at it from a logical point of view. If the sentimental clutter is simply stored away in your basement or attic, you aren’t exactly reliving those memories anyway. Creating a sentimental scrapbook allows you to relive the good times anytime you like. Just head over to the bookshelf and thumb through it at your leisure. Isn’t that a whole lot easier than having to dig around in your basement?

I should note that Barbara Etlin, who blogs at http://owlsquill.blogspot.ca/ these days, posted in response to last week's post that she and her husband made a scrapbook out of important documents that had belonged to her mother-in-law. As she noted, "We haven't looked at it since, but it made M feel better that we weren't disposing of his mother's momentos."

I am not planning on going this route myself, but I understand the merit in it, and pass it along for those of you who are swamped in emotion-laden objects. Perhaps this route might work for you.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 28th, 2013 04:09 pm (UTC)
Good ideas. Thank you for sharing the links!
Aug. 29th, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC)
We are about to begin the process of decluttering with the possibility of eventual downsizing. Your post is timely for me. A journal might help me through this monumental task.
Thanks for the pep talk and the links.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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