Letting Go of Sentimental Things

I live in a small house with my husband and two daughters. Though we are not extravagant, our limited storage spaces are full. Thankfully we always have a charity donation pile going, but one category is always harder to let go of. More poignant. The sentimental stuff–the old toys, photos, favorite clothes, inherited bits. But as I’ve gotten older I am reminded that memory does not exist in the item and I’ve been able to let go of a number of sentimental things. I decided this spring would be a good time to do another round. So I started rooting around in our house. Nothing big so far, but here’s what I’ve come up with…


Found this 1975 Simplicity sewing pattern in a nightstand drawer. I made this quilted jacket for myself in high school and wore it a lot. I loved it. Somehow the pattern survived and traveled from the east coast to the west with me decades ago. But will I ever make this again? Well no. And this pattern is not worth selling on it’s own.

Polyester graduation tassels from high school and college. Yup, I can let these go!


It was time to let go of this tiny, suede-covered Washington Irving book that was given to my grandfather in Christmas 1915!

I had a heck of a time trying to find out comps on little gift books like this. Was it worth anything? Nothing? In the end I priced it for $20 (with free shipping).

I also decided to let go of my grandmother’s autograph book from her high school days 1919-1923.

It’s in fair condition at best and a number of the notations are in pencil. Not worth much, but I can’t just throw it out. Not sure what I’ll price it at.

And this Victorian hair mourning piece, a family heirloom, will always just be stored in a box. Does it “spark joy” for me? Not really, though it is interesting.

If no one else in my family wants it, it seems like a good candidate for my store. (My oldest daughter just let me know she might want to use this as a bracelet!) Similar pieces typically sell for less than $100 unless they have particularly intricate braiding or real gold fittings.


After my mom died I took her bottle of Chanel Eau de Toilette #19 spray. It sits on a shelf in my closet and I don’t use it. But now, almost 19 years after her death, I’ve decided it’s time. Seems silly not to. (I put some on as I’m writing this and feel enveloped in a mom hug!) And when it’s gone, it’s gone!

On the Fence!

Hmmm…what to do about my vintage Girl Scout sash? I remember working so hard on these badges. Scouting was a fun part of my childhood. But still this sash resides in a drawer…as it has for decades. Keep or sell? I’m leaning towards keep.


I decided NOT to part with this antique (1800s) etched brooch (likely rolled gold).

It was given to my grandmother Marion by her great grandmother according to the note…so my great, great, great grandmother?? It has little monetary value, but it’s kinda cool to think about passing it down to one of my daughters and having one of them own something that’s been in the family so long. I may wear it on a chain sometime as a pendant.

And gosh I just can’t part with these mink bracelet and earrings. They belonged to my mom and I remember her wearing them in the 1960s. So glam!

I have never worn these. Maybe I should. Even with jeans and black leather jacket. 🙂

Moving Forward

I’m going to keep rooting around and trying to let go of more of my stored sentimental stuff.

If you need encouragement here are some links to get you started:

As always, happy hunting…and letting go,



  1. I happened upon your blog while searching WordPress reader for “Bellingham”. I’m so enjoying reading back! And your Etsy shop is fabulous. So many unique items! — Marsi (blog/etsy shop/facebook @westwardwewander)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you enjoyed our photo walk, Karen. I took so many photos of downtown and Fairhaven. It’s a very fun and photogenic city. I imagine it’s a great place for the college experience!

        Liked by 2 people

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