I have so much accumulated stuff filling our garage, closets, dining room, even the center console of my car. So much of it is stuff I don't use, but I'm sentimental about it. Touching these things helps me remember. For example, a pair of pants that I'll never wear again, but holding them makes me remember where I was at in life when I bought them and the great birthday cookout when I first wore them. I have sheets that don't fit our bed but I remember my ex-girlfriend lying on them laughing (she died 9 years ago... and I still have all her things in my closet). A lot of the other memories are forgotten until I go through my "memory boxes."
I want the memories but I don't want to live surrounded by all this stuff! I want to enjoy and use the space around us, instead of needing storage space.
What changed your outlook? Please, help me learn to let go!
A great way to make space and still be able to conserve those memories, is to take a photo of each item, that way you can look at the photo and still have the same memories triggered.
Even if a photo is not quite as evocative as touching fabric, I would bet that way back when you were wearing those pants at that great birthday cookout, if you knew then that those pants would be so hard to get rid of in future, that they would become almost a ball and chain attached to you, that you would not have enjoyed wearing them so much at the time.
You have the memories inside your mind, you don't need the things, they are not part of you, the memories are part of you.
Make space in your life for the creation of new memories!
Perhaps repurpose some of the items...for fabric, cut out a square and collect them in one container. Take them to a quilt shop and have them made into one quilt you can use. Or cut them into strips and braid them into a rug. Pictures are a good idea, too. Keep one book of pictures of all the items you feel attached to.
I read an article a while back (in mothering I think) about how everything that you save takes up your time. That was a bit of an aha as I can see how all my saved things take time away from my family.
I hope I'm making sense, I'm a bit exhausted and have to tried to write a coherent reply more than a few times today! Thank you for taking the time to share your suggestions!