Breaking up with someone you don’t love anymore is never easy. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things many of us ever have to do. Well, it turns out that breaking up with your junk shares some parallels with breaking up with a significant other and often comes with the same sentimental feelings that a person can bring up.
Maybe you’ve been with your comfy couch for years; it was love at first sight and it was the first big piece you bought with your professional job income. You loved that couch for years and shared so many naps. It made you feel so warm and cozy, but lately, it hasn’t been treating you the same and the magic is gone.
You know you’re going to have some hang-ups feel about decluttering sentimental items, but it’s one of those things that when the time comes, you have to get it over with. The longer you keep your sentimental junk, the harder it is to let go. So if you’re unsure how to get rid of sentimental junk, keep reading!
How to Get Rid of Sentimental Junk
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Sentimental Clutter Meaning
First, let’s take a look at the meaning of sentimental clutter. Simply put, sentimental clutter is the stuff that you’re holding on to purely for the emotional response you get from it. It could literally be anything, from a box of keepsakes from a prior relationship to a coffee mug with a broken handle that you purchased on your first trip to a different state.
It’s important to figure out whether or not you believe that decluttering your sentimental items is going to erase the memories elicited from those items. If you’re holding on to a stack of brochures from National Parks to remember the cross-country road trip you took with your college friends, will disposing of them really erase that memory from your mind? Probably not.
Getting rid of sentimental junk isn’t easy. Sometimes our sentimental items feel like they are truly part of who we are. But as we get older and life marches on, it’s not always practical to hang onto the crib from when you were a baby unless you have plans to have a child of your own really soon, or to keep storing that vintage vinyl from your Dad’s collection that you’ll truly never listen to. Because truth be told, you just don’t like Nat King Cole like he did.
Before you start, you need to remember this one thing: Your items are not the people or places they are associated with.
If you throw them away, you are not throwing away that part of your life.
Preparation for Decluttering Sentimental Items
Before you start decluttering sentimental items, it’s important to make sure that you really want to take the plunge. As with ending a romantic relationship, the decision to bring it to a close is final and can’t be reversed. Once that vintage turntable is gone, it’s gone forever. Unless you find it again later which would mean you two were meant to be!
Is there anything you can do to repair the items you’re getting rid of? If they’re not completely worn out past the point of no return, you may be able to repair or refurbish them.
For example, if you have upholstered furniture in your living room such as a couch or recliner on the chopping block because it’s dirty or stained, giving it a good deep clean before deciding to give it the heave-ho is a great idea.
Related From the Trash Talk Blog: How to Clean a Couch: Fabric, Leather, & Microfiber
If the furniture is ripped, lumpy, or sagging, you may be able to have it reupholstered by a professional. This can get pretty expensive, though. Having a piece of furniture reupholstered can often cost as much or more than replacing it with a new piece, so you may only want to consider reupholstery for especially sentimental items or unique items.
When it comes to electronics and appliances, having them repaired is often a much better option than having to deal with proper disposal and having to research and spend all that money on a newer model, especially for high-quality items. The needed repair may even be something small and simple that you can do it yourself.
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Plan How to Get Rid of Sentimental Junk
If it turns out that the items in question can’t be salvaged, it’s important to come up with a plan before tossing stuff out on the street or in a dumpster.
If you’re going to be replacing the items you’re getting rid of, you don’t want to have the old washer & dryer and the new ones in your house at the same time taking up space. That would be just about as awkward as being stuck in a room with your ex and your new beau. Though for different reasons, obviously.
While it’s not advised to jump from one romantic relationship straight into another, you definitely don’t want to go without a refrigerator or mattress once the old one is gone. In this case, it’d be smart to cheat on your stuff by purchasing a new fridge or mattress before throwing the old one away.
In a perfect world, the guys delivering your new Bowflex would take the old one with them, but unfortunately, that’s almost never the case.
Sentimental items examples:
- Wheels or rims from your first car
- Your first laptop (that weighs 10 pounds)
- Your grandpa’s old recliner that you inherited
- Old clothing and shoes you’ll never wear again
- Childhood mattresses or crib mattresses from your own kids
Find a New Home for Sentimental Clutter
Actually getting rid of your old junk can be even harder than making the decision to let it go. Your options for junk disposal really depend on where you live and what types of things you’re trying to throw out.
If your unwanted stuff is still in pretty good condition, you can try donating it to a charity or thrift store or even try selling it. If you’ve got a whole lot of odds and ends to throw out, you could even have a yard sale.
If you decide to donate your items like clothes, call local charities and ask if they need any of the items you’re trying to donate, as well as whether they offer pickup of donated goods. Some charities and other nonprofit organizations will pick up donated items that are large or heavy, typically for a small fee.
More From the Trash Talk Blog: How to Get Rid of Practically Anything
However, there’s usually a long wait time for this service (around 2 to 3 weeks), you’ll probably have to haul your donations to the charity’s drop-off center to get it out of your house.
But what if the things you’re donating don’t fit in your car or are too heavy for you to lift?
You’ll need to pay additional fees for this service and can also be a couple of weeks before your junk is actually picked up. Not to mention the fact that all that junk is probably going straight to the landfill, though some programs try to recycle most of the bulky waste they can.
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You really don’t want to send your old stuff away to sit in a landfill until the end of time; that would be too sad. For most bulky waste items, they can be dropped off at a recycling center where they’ll be broken down and their materials reused.
The Easiest way to Get Rid of Sentimental Junk
Many people looking for a quick and easy way to end their relationship with their junk assume it’s okay to put their junk on the curb to get rid of it, but there’s a good chance you’ll end up cited and fined for illegal dumping when you leave your junk at the curb or in a dumpster.
For those looking for the easiest, least painful way to get the junk out of their house and out of their life, the best option is to use a junk removal company like LoadUp.
When you schedule a pickup with a junk removal company, a team of haulers arrive to carry your junk items from your home out to their truck, then haul it off for responsible disposal.
Junk removal companies do charge for their services, but they save you time, energy, stress, and money in the short term and long term, instead of worrying about everything yourself.
LoadUp is a nationwide, professional junk removal company that offers fast and affordable junk removal at an honest, upfront price that’s typically 20-30% less than other licensed and insured junk removal companies.
All of the independently contracted Loaders are insured under multiple policies and pass criminal and driving background checks before they’re allowed to start completing pickups on the LoadUp platform, so you know you’re in safe hands with LoadUp.
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