MINIMISING WHEN YOU’RE SENTIMENTAL

It’s a common misconception that minimalists are completely emotionally detached from their possessions because in actuality we’re probably more attached to our possessions than your average person. This is because part of minimalism is to take care of our possessions instead of allowing them to be disposable or worthless. Minimalists tend to purchase quality over quantity and consider their purchases carefully. We go for sustainable over fast. We value what we buy.

This also means that minimalism can tie in quite well with sentimentalism which again, people tend to think we’re against. Don’t get me wrong, I own nothing that I wouldn’t happily give up tomorrow if I were to travel the world, but I do have sentiments I’d be a little sad to see go.

But before I got into minimalism, I used to hold onto things just for the sake of memories. Take all of the band t-shirts from my teenage years that I’d probably love to wear for a night of nostalgia but wouldn’t want to waste a whole rail in my wardrobe on. They remind me of good times; of the nights drinking Malibu in the field behind the Cathedral, of the days in the skate park trying so hard to be cool, of the gigs I went to with the minimum wage I earned in my first ever job. But the memories are there regardless, they live inside me and not inside those possessions.

Sentimental clothing is a prime example because it’s something we’ll hold onto and not even put on display. It can sit untouched for years and yet we still make excuses to keep it. But these sorts of things can be captured in the form of photographs, and photographs bring back all the more nostalgia. Would you rather keep your 2005 Fall Out Boy t-shirt or a hilarious photo of yourself and your friends with your emo haircuts and band tees on?

It’s not just clothing we tend to hold onto. Trinkets, gifts and home wares clutter our lives and contribute to the never ending cycle of consumption that can lead to guilt and disorganisation.

How many times have you kept something you never wanted in the first place just because it was gifted to you? We’ve all done it out of politeness but realistically, we can’t hold onto things we don’t want forever. By making your family & friends aware that you’ve got into minimalism, you can encourage them to give gifts that fit into your lifestyle (digital books or music, days out or if you’re saving then even money too!)

Minimalism and sentimentalism can go hand in hand, it’s just about how we approach it. Make your photographs digital, create a small memory box for the really important things like that friendship bracelet your best friend gave you when you were 16 or the ring your first love bought you.

It’s okay to be sentimental. It’s when it leads to hoarding and storing and wasted space that it becomes an issue.

Are you in minimal living & minimal style? How do you organise your sentiments? Leave a comment below.

 

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all photos by Rebecca Claire, libfemblog.com (Sony Xperia X, edited with VSCO) // all rights reserved

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10 Comments

  1. First off – I just love your style. Your images always scream ”this girls got some serious interior design skills” whenever I see them. Such a pro!
    I actually need the opposite to this post though – I’m brutal when it comes to throwing things out. My home isn’t particularly minimalist but I hate clutter and I hate having useless crap piling up. So sentiment doesn’t often come into it, which can seem harsh to my partner (who keeps all his cards from me etc) but works for me. The only thing I’ve ever regretted throwing was pieces of clothing that suddenly come back into fashion – but then I’ve just got a great excuse to go shopping!
    I actually things there’s something seriously soothing about throwing away all your stuff once a year. I’ve not quite made it to Buddhist heights yet as I tend to just buy more stuff, but hauling those bin bags out the door always feels like a mental weight has lifted.
    H xx

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    1. It definitely feels like a mental weight has been lifted when you clear things out. I was lucky to move home during my transition to minimalism but I think I still have a little way to go with it. I find it difficult to be brutal and I do have regrets about a couple of clothing items from years ago like my dungarees which are now back in xx

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  2. I really love these posts you’re doing, they’re giving me a serious lift (plus making me want to declutter quite badly!). It’s certainly true what they say that the things you own can end up owning you. We really don’t need to cling onto to everything that we sometimes do. You sound like you have a great balance!

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  3. I am 100% a MASSIVE HOARDER of all things sentimental, big and small. It makes moving away very difficult. I actually still have an entire section of my parents’ loft dedicated to all my stuff that I hadn’t been able to sort through before leaving. I sued to have ‘memory boxes’ and chuck every little thing in them. Nowadays I’m a little better at getting rid of things I don’t wear/use, and I create journal-scrapbook hybrids to stick all my photos and tickets and other trinkets in. At least that way they’re not just shoved in a box, plus they look cool on my bookshelf!
    Hannah
    hannahinternational.co.uk

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    1. Chick you make me blush, thank you so much!! I still have a way to go with minimalism, it’s definitely a slow process and a long journey but I feel so much more free from how I used to be :)

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  4. I am such a hoarder and I’m trying to change! When Tom and I started going out I used to hang on to EVERYTHING that meant something to us. The skirt I wore on our first date, cinema tickets etc. I used to buy LOADS of trinkets on holiday too and now I’ve cut that down to a magnet from every place we visit! My fridge is now my favourite place for nostalgia 😏

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    1. I don’t think minimalism is for everyone and Char you definitely fit into that category! Your love of charity shops is just too much haha. But we can all take something from minimalism and I’m glad you are in changing your hoarding ways :)

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  5. this post is so relevant just now! I’ve spent the day clearing out my clutter cause I need to pack up my room and leave next month, but I find it so hard to get rid of concert tickets, gig shirts and even cinema tickets! I want to get more into minimalism, especially since I move around a lot and it would just make my life a lot easier!
    G x

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