How to declutter your house (part seven-sentimental)

I open at the close….

This is the last bit. I promise. If you follow the method, this is the final stage, and you will never have to declutter again!

Marie Kondo doesn’t want you to spend your life tidying ( she does it because she enjoys it). If you complete your house in six months, then that should be it, forever. ( I’m not quite sure if I believe this will work, but I think your best chance is to follow the book as closely as possible). You have to aim for perfection, just once, and once achieved, she says you’ll stick with it, (if perfection sounds unachievable, remember it’s only your junk, not a three act opera, or an Olympic diving competition.)

So the final stage is sentimental items. Whenever you come across something sentimental in the earlier stages you’re supposed to put it aside so as not to get distracted. What you should end up with is all your photos and keepsakes together, so you can go through them, one by one.  Here’s ours*


I’m not a sentimental person, but even I baulked at the idea of throwing away a photo. However once you get down to it, it’s actually really clear what brings you joy and what doesn’t. Even pictures of the kids, if they look unhappy, or it’s not a great picture, it went, because we’ve got hundreds of lovely pictures of them. Some of the keepsakes were just junk too, and they mostly went, the ones that we really treasured we were then able to store nicely, rearranging photo albums and re-filling picture frames with previously forgotten (but lovely) photos.

In the end we kept:

  • 2x wedding albums+ guestbook (including an invitiation, order of service etc)
  • 1x general photo album
  • A baby box (cards, scan pictures, first birthday etc)
  • Kids art folder (special pieces only, although you may be less cold hearted than me)
  • 1x keepsake box

This is by no means to say you should keep the same, it’s just illustrative. We could then store it all in our desk in the study, now our paperwork is down to four folders.

And then, that’s it you’re done! One final check of the house? Right. No more then, you’re actually starting to get quite boring with it now.

Now, where were we, oh look, the house needs redecorating!


*No ‘after’ picture because it’s all packed away and I can’t be bothered to dig it all out again, so you can have one of my favourite sentimental pictures instead. It was our 11th anniversary on Saturday but we couldn’t go out as we were sick! (Sob sob…)


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