Is Memory Lane Good, Bad, Or Both?


Have you ever come across an old photo, heard a song, or even come into contact with old friends somehow and all of the sudden it’s like a dam breaks lose. Your thoughts turn your attention fully to the way things looked, smelled, and most of all how you felt at that particular moment in time. You see everything so vividly that it seems like it was just yesterday.

Oh, how memory lane can swoop us up right out of reality and place us right smack dab in the fantasies of our past.Fred_C_Palmer_child_with_toy_Swindon_001

We are not only faced with memories when we are out and about running errands, taking our kids to school, or just running into an old friend at the grocery store but our homes believe it or not are full of our past. Just take a quick look around you. What do you see?

A box full of old photographs, trophies that you have won over the years, gifts that have been given to you for various reasons, cards, letters,…the list could go on and on.

Sorting through our possessions and decluttering our home sounds like a great idea, at first, but then when we smell that smell or see something that reminds us of our past we stop dead in our tracks and start reminiscing again which makes it nearly impossible to stay on task.

In some cases we wish things were like they use to be but in others we wish they hadn’t happened at all. Then we start the big “what if” game or “why did that have to happen” set of questions.

We start to waste time and even our energy if you really think about it. How many times has a memory made you cry or feel depressed? Boy, that can really drain a persons energy.

So how do we know if we should let go of an item or if it’s okay to keep?

Here are five questions to ask yourself when sorting through your clutter to see if it’s good or bad to keep…


1) Is it holding you back from becoming who you want to be?

Do you have a trophy or a letter from some one full of expectations that you think you need to live up to. Here is your chance to be free from those things and start living the life you want to.

2) Is it giving you motivation to get something done and to take action in your life?

Don’t be fooled by this one. You might keep a photo of a past relationship that has gone wrong just to prove to that person what you have accomplished in your life, even without them. This is not motivation it is holding you down because chances are that even when you do accomplish things in your life they won’t care either way.

3) Is it wasting your valuable time?

Always having to move, clean, or dust an unwanted item is a huge time waster.

4)How does that particular item make you feel? (your initial feeling towards it)

Get rid of the item that makes you have ill feelings( if it’s yours to get rid of, of course). After all who wants there stuff to put them in an awful mood? The whole idea is to be surrounded by things that make us happy and motivate us to successes.

5) Is it adding stress to your life?

Is there an item that brings back such memories that it puts strains on relationships among your family. That could and will put a whole lot of stress in your life.

Just remember, it’s all in how you look at the memories, and how you use them in your life. Do you use them for motivation(to take action on a project, get a high score on a test, or speak in front of a large crowd) or do they use you for motivation ( just to get under your skin, wasting your time filling you with nonsense or holding you back from the potential that is inside you just waiting to be set free)?

So I’m asking you just based on what you have just read and what you yourself have experienced, Is Memory Lane Good, Bad, or Both?

You decide when you are decluttering and sorting through your home. Keep asking yourself these five questions to help you stay on task.

Do you have another way to declutter memory lane in your home? I would love to hear your creative ideas so that others can be motivated by them as well.

Just leave a comment below or join me on twitter, facebook, or linkedin


Photo attribution By Fred C. Palmer (died 1936-1939) (Scan of original postcard in my possession) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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