We all deal with sentimental clutter: A broken memento from a loved one; your now-grown child’s toy that’s been gathering dust for years; or even a well-intentioned gift that you never use, but feel guilty for giving away. It can be hard to get rid of such beloved items—but when you feel it’s time to clean, organize, and purge your clutter, try this smart tip from Deb Allert, a professional organize and owner of Clutter-a-Go-Go, in San Diego.
Take a photo of yourself holding the item in question—that way, you’ll still have something to look back on, even with the physical object gone. Then? “Get rid of them!” says Allert. “The purpose of a present is for the donor to show her good feelings toward the recipient. The actual item is a side issue.”
And be sure to donate items that are still in working use. Just the idea of other people being able to enjoy the gift may be enough motivation to give it away.