By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

I’m so glad to be here with you again. Many of you might know I took a few weeks off because I moved from my tiny Philadelphia jewel box apartment to a right-size small home in Historic New Castle Delaware built in the 1780s.

I chose this home and this village for lifestyle. It is closer to my family and granddaughter, it is large enough to have overnight guests, I have plenty of space to now entertain again and it is one block from the water.

Read my recent article which talks more about the same: A Checklist for Finding the Right-Size Home for Your Current Lifestyle

Now it’s time to catch up on my weekly blogs and videos and having just gone through more decluttering and downsizing during my move, I can relate to many of the same emotions that you might be having yourself.

Being overwhelmed when you try to get rid of sentimental items…

  • You become attached to them
  • You feel guilty about letting go of things you’ve inherited or that were given to you by special people in your life.
  • You might even feel resentful because you don’t have room for other people’s stuff.

The thought of getting rid of sentimental items such as photos, wedding albums, letters, trophies, etc. is one of the most difficult parts of downsizing and decluttering so I created a brand-new document to help you rid yourself of sentimental clutter without losing the memories.


Lose The Clutter, But Not The Memories


Follow these 5 Steps


Step #1 – Review the five types of clutter and discern which one of those is most difficult for you to let go of:

  • Attachment clutter
  • Inherited Clutter
  • Aspirational clutter
  • Bargain cutter
  • Abundance clutter

For example, if you choose…

Attachment Clutter:

i.e. Letters, family photos, books, and gifts given by a special person in your life, items left by a deceased loved one.


Step #2 – Ask “why” it’s important to you.

For example, “it is a bridge to your past and it connects you to your loved one.”


Step #3 – Ask “how does it make you feel?”

For example: “nostalgic, happy, and a fear of destroying those memories if you let it go.”


Step #4 – Ask “how would you feel if you could let it go?”

For example: “relief, freedom from guilt, and the ability to move past it so you can let it go.”


Step #5 – How to let it go.

For example:

  • Take a photo of it, write a story about it, and why it means so much to you.
  • Choose two or three of the items, then digitize the rest (photos, letters)
  • Give (gifts, etc.) to someone who wants nails and will use them.


Follow these five steps to help you learn how to let go of sentimental items without losing the memories so you can appreciate more the few things you do choose to keep.

When you use this guide, it will help you feel empowered, relieved, and able to move forward, no longer overwhelmed and burdened by sentimental clutter.

Photo of book cover for Rita Wilkins #1 selling book downsize your life upgrade your lifestyle

If you want to learn more about downsizing your life and upgrading your lifestyle,


 to purchase my Amazon #1 Best Selling book.