My KonMari Journey: Sentimental - Keepsakes

Welcome to 'My KonMari Journey' series. Over the next few months I will be sharing my progress, as I make my way through the KonMari Method, based on the best-seller book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Japanese organising enthusiast, Marie Kondo.

Today I am sharing: Sentimental - Keepsakes

If you are new to my blog, Welcome! In case you missed it, be sure to read my Introduction and Getting Started post, so you know what the KonMari Method is all about and the reasons why I am doing it.

In a nutshell, Marie Kondo has four rules she recommends people follow when doing the KonMari Method:
1. Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible.
2. Sort by category, not by location
3. Selection Criterion: Does it 'spark joy?'
4. Order of tidying: Clothes, Books, Documents (Paper), Miscellaneous items (Komono), and Mementos (Sentimental)

As suggested in the book, I will start doing the KonMari Method with my own 'stuff' first, then I will work though the kids items, because I am too sentimental and would find it hard to part with their things right off the bat. I also need to get my head around this new process of de-cluttering, tidying and organising, so hopefully when it comes to purging my kids stuff, it will be a lot easier (well, let's hope so).



Sentimental BEFORE!
Now that I have organised my Clothes, Books, Papers, and Komono (miscellaneous)'s time for me to tackle the final category - Sentimental. If you have been following 'My KonMari Journey', you should know by now I am a sentimental hoarder - I have a lot of items that I have kept for a VERY long time, as I want to keep the memory alive with the 'special item'. Marie Kondo states "Just as the word implies, a memento is a reminder of a time when an item gave us joy" (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, 2014)...and as much as I have wanted to part with things, I always have that fear that the memory will be erased if I discard the item...that is, until now!

I have been doing the KonMari method for about six months now (with a few breaks in between)...and I have definitely seen a change in my mindset since I first started. (You can read my Introduction and Getting Started HERE). I look at items I currently own or have on display, and know instantly what sparks joy and what doesn't. I feel lighter, and so does my home.

I have started to KonMari my Sentimental items...and you know what - I am ready to tackle my PAST once and for all, so I can have everything in order (and organised) for my PRESENT & FUTURE. I am really excited about this category - Yes, the photo above is ALL of my Sentimental items - I have hauled it all in my lounge, where it will stay until I KonMari it. Yes, it's A LOT (I told you I'm a Sentimental hoarder) and Yes, it's going to be an emotional ride - a trip down memory lane - however I need to think about the future and the future of my kids...I am ready to let go of my past, not all of it, but there are some things I have held on to, for way too long. This is where it's really going to get life-changing. Let the process begin! Wish me luck.

(In case you missed it...I recently KonMari'd my CARDS & LETTERS & Journals, Awards & Achievements)

Today I am sharing: Keepsakes

I have kept quite a few knick knack keepsakes over the I get to go through them all and see what still sparks joy...this is going to be interesting. 

When I initially sorted through the sentimental boxes above (and there were a lot of them), I put aside the little keepsakes I have been holding onto for years. Doing this made things a lot easier when it came to tackling this sub-category. I didn't have to scrummage through boxes and boxes of stuff to find what I was there all in one box, ready for me to start the KonMari method and to see what items still sparked joy and what items I could finally say good-bye to. 

I had all sorts in this box...old passport, licence, a video tape and flip phone (time capsule items), little knick knacks I was given as a teacher, the list goes was time for me to hold each of these items in my hands or close to my body and see if I still feel the spark! 

I stopped half way through the purge to take some snaps, as I was zooming through it all...some of the items, in my eyes, were definite keepers, some...not so much. The items in the bottom left is my purge pile...old maps, pens, necklace from an ex boyfriend, and earbuds...I have NO idea why they were in there (LOL). 

I have had this cute little porcelain house for many years...I think I got in my early's a candle holder...I used to put a tea light candle in it and the windows and door will light up. It was so cool! *SPARK JOY*. Now I keep my little keepsakes in it. It's too precious to throw away - it does need a bit of dusting though. In the keepsake box it goes. 

My parents have all of our 21st Keys in our family home. We were meant to take them when we bought our first homes (4/5 of us have bought our first homes)...but they look really cool on the wall at my that is where they will stay. For now, I have this little 21st Key to fill the gap. 

How crazy is this! 16 years ago today (2nd September 2000)...I went to my last PROM...and I was crowned Prom Queen - I'll show you a pic when I tackle Photos! And 17 years ago on the 4th September 1999, I got an award for Best Female Dancer at my Sixth Form (Year 12) older brother, William got the award for Best Male Dancer...think back to day when 'Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom - Venga Boys' and 'Wild, Wild West - Will Smith' were top of the charts - oh those were the days. Good times. 

I love that I kept my student ID cards...they help tell my story. When I left school I went straight to Polytechnic to study ICT, then got a job as Teacher Aide at a local primary school. From there I got accepted into the Bachelor of Education programme.


I probably spent about 20-30 minutes going through my Keepsakes and now have them nicely stored in this A4 sized box (same as the ones I used for my journals & cards). I have already mentioned a few of the things I purged...and I only added a few extra items. When I first started the box was overflowing because everything was just chucked in in, now most of it is stored vertically and everything has room to breathe. This little box of keepsakes sparks joy and tells my story. 

Once I was finished, I sat down with my daughter and told her about these items and what they meant to me. She loves hearing stories about me when I was younger, and I love sharing these memories with her. 

Now I have my Written Keepsakes, Cards & Letters, and Keepsakes all corralled together in these three small red boxes, not 60L plastic containers! It feels great, although it is a bit hard to comprehend that 'my life' is in this three boxes. Is this enough to tell my story? YES, I believe it is - I still have photos as well. At the moment these boxes are on top of the cupboards in the kitchen because they match the red theme. I'm still deciding whether or not to keep them there or put them away in my wardrobe. I kind of like the fact they are on display and not hidden away...but only time will tell.

Coming Up Next: My KonMari Journey: Sentimental - Photos! EEK!
The biggest and hardest sub-category of them all and one that everyone is waiting to this space. 

Read all of my KONMARI posts HERE.

Note: I will be doing  a 'KonMari with Kids' series once I have finished my own KonMari journey. Watch this space or  Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post.


I am super excited about this journey and I would love for you to follow along in this process, better yet, join me - Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post and together we can tidy our homes and change our lives, once and for all. I will also be sharing my journey on my Facebook page, and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there too.

If you would like to give the KonMari Method a go, but don't have the book - You can view and print/save all of my KonMari checklists  HERE. Here is the printable for Sentimental

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  1. Ah Charlene, you're such an inspiration, still hard at work, you don't seem to have flagged at all! And Keepsakes, the hardest of all. Well done!

    1. Sorry for the delayed reply Erin. Thank you so much! There have been lulls however I am determined to see it through to the end.

  2. Hi!

    Your KonMari-series has been greatly inspirational to me, thank you so much for doing this 😊

    The boxes you got for your keepsakes appear very functional as well as good looking, a great find! I just think that a problem with the kitchen'up high' is that they WILL get greasy. But, the insides are safe and that's what's important.

    My best wishes to you and family,
    Rita Salmon

    1. Hi Rita, thank you for your lovely comment, I really appreciate it. Yes, I have had my doubts about the boxes being in my kitchen, and as much as they look good where they are...they are my prized possessions so I think I will be moving them to a more safer place.

      Thanks for stopping by x


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