In my craft studio, I keep a small box of sumptuous ribbons. It’s a jewel box full of lush velvets and shining satins. Gazing into it transports me back to the ancient, hole-in-the-wall shop in New York where I found many of these treasures.
While organizing my studio some years back, it was these same ribbons that stopped me in my tracks. Practical, unsentimental me didn’t know what to do with them. Too special to actually use in a project, they didn’t seem to serve a useful purpose. Why was I holding on to them? Where should I put them? What do I do with them?
The answers to those questions led me to give myself permission to keep them for purely aesthetic and sentimental reasons, just because I loved them. I arranged them in a pretty box that would keep them safe and put the box on a shelf near my cutting table. Now, anytime I need to look at something beautiful to inspire my creativity, I open the box and visit with my special ribbons.
What special ribbons do you have in your life? Maybe it’s the china that your grandmother passed down to you. Or maybe it’s the artwork that your children made. Perhaps, like my husband, you still have the train set that your parents gave to you for your first Christmas.
These things are not practical or especially useful. But they have meaning to you and you want to honor that meaning.
It’s OK to save things that have no useful function. It’s OK to save things just because they are dear to your heart.
3 Rules for Saving Sentimental Stuff
1. If everything is special, then nothing is special.
Be discerning about the special things you save, otherwise it’s all a mass of clutter. Be sure you’re saving just the best of the best. Save the stand-out pieces, the most precious, most beautiful, most monumental.
2. Know why you are saving it.
Does it inspire you? Remind you of a special person? Take you back to a great time? Don’t save things that remind you of bad times or make you feel guilty.
3. Store it in an interactive way.
Why bother saving something special if it’s packed in a box in the attic and you never see it? Instead, think about how you could store the item in a way that allows you to interact with and enjoy it?
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