Sometimes it can be really difficult to let go of that 1st grade finger painting or coveted McDonald’s happy meal toy collection. But sometimes you just need to make space for more “important” things in your life. Cleaning out nostalgic items doesn’t necessarily mean throwing way. There are many alternatives to the trash where your childhood treasures can still thrive.

Why Should I Be Cleaning Out?

A slew of prized possessions is fine when younger, but as you grow and move into smaller spaces clutter becomes the enemy. Some warning signs of an overly cluttered living space include when your piles of stuff begin growing in height and number. You may notice a friend begins to intervene and let you know that you have a “problem.” Or the mess starts to impede your creativity rather than aid it. Shilpi Verma of the India Times speaks truth when he says, “the amount of junk that we accumulate on a daily basis is surprising and we don’t even realize it.” Over time, relics of old (Buzz Lightyear action figures, and My Little Pony figurines) can flood a household and make it uninhabitable. However, MiLLENNiAL has put together some solutions to help you navigate this problem.

Millennial Magazine - Cleaning out Childhood nostalgia

Tips and Solutions for Clearing Space

When you’re cleaning out your home or apartment, the items that you are discarding aren’t leaving the world forever, they are just leaving your world forever. Furby may be hard to give up, but think about the amount of joy it could bring a 10-year-old in your neighborhood. Here are a few tips to help lighten the load.

  1. Hold a yard-sale- they’re quick, easy, and a good way to earn a few extra bucks. Just remember not to overprice things like an old NSYNC cd, or vintage Hello Kiddy t-shirt.
  2. Donate to Charity- If you have too many old shirts or hair-clips, give them to someone, who could really use them.
  3. Handing items down- Relatives, younger siblings and small children are sure to enjoy and find excitement in some of your beloved treasures, especially old picture books.
  4. Selling items online (EBay, Amazon)- And if you want, post items online and let them go to the highest bidder. Most people’s tastes probably aren’t too different from your own.

Of course there are some things that are just destined for the garbage, like broken or severely damaged items, but try to find ways to give everything else a new life.

Keeping The Photo Archives Alive

Millennial Magazine - shared photo albums

One thing to definitely keep and not clean out is old photographs, especially the ones in hard-copy form that can’t be saved online. Embrace throwback Thursday and post old pictures online (Facebook, Twitter). Psych Central reports, “nostalgic activities increase positive mood and positive view of ourselves, feelings of social connectedness, perceived meaning and vitality in life.”

Imagine what you can do with the extra room you’re creating. Cleaning out and letting go of old stuff is ending one chapter, but it is also the beginning of a new one.


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Andrew Garrison


Phoenixville, PA

Andrew is a 24 year-old graduate of McDaniel College (’13). He is also an aspiring writer and stand-up comedian. He believes that if you are passionate about something, you should go for it! Life is too short for question marks, live life to the fullest while exploring your dreams and see what happens! Andrew presently lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

All posts by Andrew Garrison

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