Keepsakes may include souvenirs, gifts from friends and loved ones, relics from our past, or other sentimental objects. If keepsakes are cluttering up your home or storage areas, ask yourself these questions:

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    Is there a way I can actually use and enjoy the item? Perhaps a special greeting card is pretty enough to be framed and hung, or a family heirloom quilt can be enjoyed on the bed in a guest room. Souvenir glasses from vacations can be used at family meals, generating memories for everyone.
  • Is there a theme that ties the items together, so that I could display them as a collection? One or two items sitting around looks like clutter, but three or more similar ones can be a collection. Enhance the impression that they are a set by enclosing them in a display case or grouping them on a tray.
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    Is there a way I can preserve the memories while reducing the bulk? Some people have taken small pieces of fabric from garments that held special memories and made patchwork pillow tops or collages. Others take a picture of the actual item, so they can preserve the memory without keeping the real thing. And when it comes to the stacks of photos we often collect, carefully sort through and toss any that are out of focus, too far away from the subject, or that duplicate another shot that tells the same story.
  • Are the items valuable enough that I could donate them to a museum? If so, you might be able to see them when you want to, and others could enjoy them as well.
  • Does it have monetary value? You might consider selling it.
  • Is there someone else for whom this also has meaning? Or, to whom do I plan to leave this when I die? Perhaps you could give the keepsake to someone else now, knowing that it will be enjoyed and appreciated.