sentimental items

“How many things we own that we do not give away because we feel so attached to them.”

-Mother Teresa

Giving Away My Wedding Dress.

I had only been married for a few weeks when I ran into an acquaintance on the bus one day. We started chatting, and she was asking about the wedding and what my dress looked like. As we were talking about ‘the dress’, she mentioned that a friend had recently given her dress away to charity, and lamented the fact that anyone would give such a special thing away. At the time I wasn’t brave enough to say that I actually thought the idea was wonderful! I loved the idea of my dress being worn again and enjoyed by someone else. And it was even better if that helped a charity at the same time.

As soon as I got home I searched online for charities that accept wedding dresses. I found The Brides’ Project: ‘Fighting cancer. One Dress at a time.’ The Brides’ Project accepts donated wedding dresses from brides, salons and designers and has two very important purposes: to provide brides with dress and accessory options that are within her budget, and to support cancer charities by donating all of the profits. These gowns are sold to brides-to-be with all profits going to cancer charities. The Brides’ Project began 11 years ago and has raised over $600,000.

That day I packed up my wedding dress and sent it to them; I was so happy to contribute to this worthwhile cause. I did keep my veil, and my kids have had fun playing dress-up with it!

sentimental items

Parting with sentimental items.

Courtney Carver of Be More With Less addressed the issue of sentimental items and explained that “As you simplify your life, you will come to the realization that the most sentimental things aren’t things at all, but stories of the people and places we love, and how we spend our time.”

Was my dress a sentimental item? Of course. But the memory of our wedding day wasn’t in my dress, it was in me. I have many beautiful photos of our wedding and I love to look back on those and remember the most important day of my life. The wedding was one day, but my husband and I now have a marriage; a lifetime of saying ‘yes’ to each other and choosing to love each other every single day.

The key to letting go.

When we recognize that the sentiment is found in the stories and memories, then it becomes easier to part with sentimental items.

It’s less about the stuff we own, and more about the people we love.

Here’s more tips for decluttering sentimental items.

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