In my prior post about saying goodbye to some bags from my closet, I mentioned that I was currently Birkin-less (yes, in my world that’s an official state). Anyway, that meant that a bag associated with one of my favorite vacation memories – an Etoupe Birkin with gold hardware that my husband surprised me with in Paris on our first trip to France together – was now gone. Afterwards, I received a few questions from readers about how I felt getting rid of a present from my spouse. That got me thinking about sentimental items…and whether I’ve kept most of mine, or not.
After some thought, I have to share that generally I’m not particularly sentimental about many things. My desire not to have unnecessary clutter usually outweighs whatever nice feeling I have associated with physical items. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up also was really helpful for me in that regard, in providing the encouragement to declutter, and move on.
That being said, of course I cherish pieces associated with those I love…especially from my husband, and my family. There are also certain items I purchased myself to celebrate an occasion, that I have kept for sentimental reasons. They include:
1. My engagement ring. I’m cheating a bit with this one, because of course I wear it everyday and it’s obviously sentimental. But I so love mine and can say with full confidence that I will never, ever “upgrade” it…though I’m 100% supportive for anybody who does want to upgrade theirs (and I’m available to go shopping for it, too!). I’m always thrilled whenever I look at it.
2. A little picture of a tiger that my mom drew. She’s a really good artist! It used to hang in my closet, now it’ll go in the nursery.
3. The card that my husband wrote for me to read right before he proposed in London. It also has a little tiger on top. He gave me the rest of the box of Smythson stationery and I treasure those cards as well as I can’t find the pattern anymore.
4. My first Chanel bag, a little caviar bowler that I bought with my mom in New York more than ten years ago.
5. A sweet floral ring I bought myself as a little celebration for turning 25 and going to business school.
I don’t wear the last two – the bag and ring – very much at all anymore. Yet I’ve kept them, because when I see them in my closet, its a reminder to use them as they still have a place in my life. I still find occasions to bring both out.
As for that Birkin bag? I loved the fact that my husband was so thoughtful to find me a beautiful bag in Paris…and I always think of that occasion and smile. But the bag itself was just sitting by itself, very forlorn in a corner of my closet…and my closet isn’t too big, you know? It was occupying a lot of real estate, and I felt bad for it whenever I saw it, yet I wasn’t finding uses for it. I know it’s with a very happy new owner now…and I still have that wonderful moment in my mind, forever. I don’t need the actual item, I’ve realized…just the memory.
How are you about sentimental items/gifts, and keeping them? Do you find yourself keeping items that you know you may never use, or are you able to easily part with them?