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Tackling Sentimental Papers

This week in Tidy 2021, we will be facing our sentimental papers. What counts as sentimental papers? Letters, Cards, Children’s drawings, (your OWN drawings!) Reports, Certificates and so on. Not Photos though which we will tackle over the next few weeks.

There is no denying that this is a tough category. I say to cover it in a week, in reality it may need much longer. Tears, both happy and sad, happen fairly frequently during this category when I am working with clients (which I am honoured to hold space for) and it is important during this category to take breaks when it gets too hard. Even if you power through it, take time to acknowledge your feelings and do something that makes you feel happy.

Bring each category into one place and go through each item one by one. There are a couple of questions for you to ask yourself during this category.

The first, of course, is “Does This Spark Joy for ME?”. Keep these. We will talk about storage in a moment.

A second question is, “Does this Spark Joy for someone else?”. You can offer these to the people for whom they may Spark Joy, but be sure to reassure that the person to whom they are offered that they can turn them down without causing offence.

A third question is, “Is this of importance for someone else?”. I guess that these items may be tricky, and they are generally things that may be of importance to children in the future. I’m not so much talking about Artwork and Reports as family history that you think it may be important for them to know in the future.

A fourth question, “Is this of Historical Importance?”. Sometimes things that may not Spark Joy for you or your family may be of importance to other people. One of my lovely long standing clients has many fascinating things which we will be offering to Glasgow Women’s Library. Another client has old magazines which we will be contacting the local Archivist about to see if they would like them.

If an item does not tick any of these boxes, then it is time to let it go. Do so with a light heart.

When it comes to storage, clearly, if it is a Yes from 2 or 4, it’s not your responsibility to store it! However, if it from question 3, it does not Spark Joy for you, but may be important in the future to a child, you need to consider archival storage. This should be stored in the main home, in acid free storage, but it should not be something that grabs your attention.

As for things that tick Question1, well, the possibilities here are endless! ENJOY this storage category. Make sure that things in it are well-preserved in acid-free storage within the main home, but there are so many things that you can do to ensure that your happy memories are Sparked every time you see the items. Cherish them!


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