A few weeks ago, I finally decided to make use of my limited free time and do laundry. While throwing the clothes out of my closet, I noticed an old T-shirt from my freshman year of high school: a size small, faded neon green shirt that read “CLASS OF 10.”
After wallowing in the fact that it’s been nine years since I graduated high school, I realized the shirt brought back memories of a simpler time. A time when I wore a smaller shirt size and did not have to worry about student loans.
Despite its nostalgic value, I realized there was no need for a worn down T-shirt that didn’t even fit me anymore. I threw it onto an old pile of clothes and donated it to Goodwill. A shirt may spark joy, but how necessary is that joy? To me, sentimentality is an important part of moving on with life. I’ve had difficulties letting go of items that seem trivial in hindsight.
Despite the clutter that comes along with it, sentimental items may get the best of us.
There’s no use in keeping items that bring us joy. The joy is there deep inside us. We’re responsible to hold onto that without physical objects hiding in our attic years after their intended use.
Because I get emotionally attached to almost every item I’ve acquired over the years, I’ve learned to make peace and let some things go. I say this knowing I’m easily contradicting myself.
Sitting at my desk are at least five items of sentimental value. That alone is growth, though. Because had I not thrown out other items, my desk would be a hot mess. My room would also be a lot messier than it already is.
If I allow my emotions to get the best of me, people would consider me a hoarder.
I know my mom already does.
That’s not to say you should throw away your great-great-grandmother’s diamond necklace. But for the emotionally attached folks like me, the sentimental strength of an item should not halt you from paving the way for a clean slate.
An item of value can’t hold as much importance as the memories you hold within yourself. Mental clutter may be a thing but the physical mess that occurs when a person can’t let go of a few dolls and old shoes seems like the more pressing issue at hand.
Sentimentality can hold us back from making new memories with new animate and inanimate objects.
In Toy Story 3, after enrolling in college, Andy decides to let go of the toys he cherished for so long. They brought him joy.
He was reluctant to hand his prized possessions over, but knew there wasn’t a need for them anymore.
Yes, I made a Disney reference. But the principle remains: When making that transition of moving out, let go of the items that brought you happiness in the past. Instead, make room mentally and physically for a new space and new memories.