minimalism & sentimentality
I’ve heard the assumption that aspiring minimalists are not sentimental. For me, that’s not true at all. I value people, time, experiences, food and places the most but I also have strong feelings attached to some objects. I’ve written about my Daffy Duck smoothie glass. That sentimentality rings true for many other things in our home.
In asking the questions over the past 5 years of what I really value, enjoy and use, my keepsakes have reduced down to a suitcase of treasured bits and pieces (and my wedding dress in it’s own box). My storage indicator is a suitcase per adult for things that are not used or displayed. Over time that bag will be reassessed for what still holds a dear place in my heart. I feel freer in acknowledging what I truly want in my belongings, rather than holding things purely out of fear or guilt.
Yet, getting rid of something doesn’t mean I’m not sentimental about it. I have photos of significant things that I’ve thrown out or donated that serve as wonderful memory triggers. Most of the items I didn’t find to be beautiful and useful even if I did appreciate or celebrate the way in which they came into my life. My purged academic trophies represent my hard work to overcome communication challenges to rank highly amongst an intelligent group. The sentimentality endures and the achievement will be forever within me. I have kept a couple of sporting medals – the ones that I think are beautiful and fill me with pride of more awesome achievements. There are sentimental objects in use in our home too and they bring me joy often.
Our gut instinct tells us what we really want to keep in our lives, physical and otherwise. Aspiring minimalists, in whatever definition they choose, listen to it and embark upon decluttering. It’s about finding our very own unique balance of what we treasure from the past that helped shape us but making room for calmness, space or time today and being open to new opportunities or growth in the future. It’s about recognising that one doesn’t always need to physically own an object in order to honour it. It’s never about ridding oneself of the feeling of sentimentality.