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9 Tips for Sorting Memorabilia

9 Tips for Sorting Memorabilia

    Have you been putting off opening those boxes that your mother handed over to you when she was cleaning out her attic, boxes full of papers, trinkets and treasures from your childhood? Many people shove those boxes in their own attics to deal with later. Why? Because they have the power to bring your history back to life, at least in your memory. And, our histories are a mixed bag!

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    But, there is a payoff for sorting memorabilia in search of the most precious items, those that stir the best memories and feelings. When you let go of quantities of things from the past, you release some of the emotional burden of the past and can be more fully present in your life.

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    Use the following 9 tips to help you face the challenge of searching for the true treasures, the diamonds, among the stuff of your past, the stones.

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    1. Schedule a time for sorting your memorabilia when you’ll have plenty of time to reflect, feel your feelings and recover from any sad, mad or other uncomfortable feelings.
    2. Consider sorting memorabilia with a trusted friend or family member who might be interested in the content and who understands that examining and letting go of memorabilia can be a difficult process.
    3. Your intention for the first pass should be to eliminate items with obvious negative energies, those that bring up sad, hurt or angry feelings. If you hold onto those items you will be anchoring those old feelings in place.
    4. Sort the memorabilia into items that are for-sure keep, for-sure get rid of, and undecided. Remember that you are looking for items that have the BEST energies of the past, items that make your heart smile. You are looking for diamond energy in a sea of stones!
    5. When you choose items to keep, consider how they will fit into your home. It is always best if memorabilia can be displayed or at least is easily accessible to you so you can enjoy the positive memories it calls forth. If space is limited, keep the best of smaller items that anchor the energy of a particular time period or person. It isn’t necessary to keep everything that holds those energies. Just keep the best! For example, I keep the memory of my maternal grandmother alive with my favorite photograph of her on the wall of my office and her wedding band that I wear every day. When I inherit her china, I will keep a special piece or two and sell the rest. I need no more than 3 or 4 items to keep her awesome energy in my space and in my life.
    6. If items identified for release could be important to another family member or a museum, offer them to the person or institution. If they really have no value to anyone but you, and you’ve decided to part with them, either donate them or throw them in the trash.
    7. Only consider selling items that have clear monetary value, like jewelry or antiques. And, do it in a way that is easy and safe to do, like consignment or through an email broker who works with Craig’s List or Ebay. Selling is a hassle and often does not bring results that are worth the effort. And, it’s not uncommon for people to put things aside to sell, but never make those arrangements because they don’t know the best way to do it. Wanting to sell things can be a barrier to getting rid of them.
    8. If you get stuck on items that you are undecided about, put those items to the side and set a deadline for when you will revisit them. You’ll find that if you get rid of the items that you easily identified to toss, you’ll shift the energies in your space for the better. When that happens your perspective will also shift. That way, when you revisit those items, you can examine them with the benefit of better energy in your space and more clarity in your thinking. It will be easier for you to decide what to keep and what to pitch!
    9. If after a waiting period you are still struggling with what to do with certain items, invite a trusted friend or family member to help you make decisions about them. Sometimes if you tell another person the story of an item’s significance, you can let it go. Or, at the very least you’ll be able to hear your own energy in your voice as you talk about it. Items that should be kept are those about which you still have strong feelings and high energy.

    Clearing memorabilia will help you be more present in the current moment. Who knows? You may remove energetic barriers that you didn’t even know were blocking happiness, success and forward progress toward achieving your goals and dreams.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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