If you need to declutter after an emotional event it can be really challenging, but also some of the most important and rewarding decluttering that you do. It can be very difficult to know how or why to do it, though, when it is easier to ignore.


The benefits of having a declutter after an emotional event are quite far-reaching. It’s a kind of therapy, and it helps process the emotions associated with the items. You can also give a lot of the items a purpose again. You can repurpose meaningful items that would otherwise be chucked in the back of a cupboard, or pass on items to be loved by others. It is a process, but such an important one that you won’t regret. It does have to be done delicately though, and in a way that respects the emotions involved.


To help you to start to clear up after something emotionally difficult has happened, here are some handy tips and pointers to follow:

Use Self Storage For The Gift Of Time

If you have to rush clearing a loved one’s home, or you want to move items out of a space soon without throwing them away, London storage can be very helpful. You can box up and pack the items and keep them safe, dry and secure, going back to them at a time you feel ready to sort through them properly.

Repurpose For You

When you sort out items and know you want to keep them, consider repurposing some meaningful items into something you will access regularly, or can enjoy. For example, the clothing of a loved one can be turned into a teddy. Or you can turn children’s pictures into framed art. This ensures that you’re keeping hold of these special items in a way that keeps them close to your heart, rather than filling up the back of a cupboard for a long time.

Repurpose For Others

It can be very comforting to take items a loved one had and gift them to loved ones, friends or charity. It can feel that the person who is lost would be happy that others are enjoying the items, and they haven’t just been thrown away. A great example is with a grandmother who loved knitting. Passing on that unused yarn to knitting groups who knit hats for babies in intensive care, or who knit jumpers for chickens rescued from battery cages, is such an honour of that person’s memory. It makes their unused items useful and meaningful again.

Sell For Others

When you’re decluttering items from a London storage unit, or your home, and you know you don’t want to keep them, selling them can be a great idea. The money raised could be for a charity close to your heart, or related to the emotional experience you have had in some way.

Get Support

Although it can be very therapeutic to meaningfully sort through sentimental belongings, revisiting items related to an emotional time can be very painful. Perhaps you are sorting through clothes that you had before a life-changing illness or injury, or you are going through the beloved instruments played by a lost loved one – very meaningful items being sorted through will bring up a lot of emotion. Make sure you have support when you do this, either over the phone or in person – someone to talk to if you need them.

If In Doubt Don’t Throw It Out

When you declutter, usually you have to be harsh and brutal so that you actively get things sorted out and your house is clearer and more aesthetically pleasing. But when you declutter after an emotional event, things are a bit different. You can only throw away a meaningful item once, and then it is gone. Whilst you do need to clear away items and be honest about how meaningful they are to you, realistically, it is better to be safe than sorry with items you know you might want down the line. Use self storage for anything you don’t have room for that you might reconsider at a later date, as something to repurpose or move on. It is better to be safe than sorry, rather than regretful of throwing something out that you will yearn for down the line.

Ask Others

If the emotional event relates to other people like your partner or family members (usually with the loss of a loved one) it is so important not to throw away items they may want to keep. This includes asking your children (if they are old enough) about items a deceased partner owned, or even about items from your marriage to an ex partner of your children – they may want to see the wedding photos, and your wedding dress later in life, even if you associate those items with emotional pain. It is always better to check with people who have an association with the person who is gone so that everything that needs to be kept, is kept.

Take A Quiet Moment

When you do choose to sort through belongings associated with a difficult time, do choose a quiet moment without people around, or lots of noise. The last thing you need is a child running in and accidentally breaking something, or your partner asking you about something completely unrelated. If you can, do this kind of decluttering alone or with a loved one at a quiet time that will mean the respect and awareness is there of how hard the process is. London storage units are particularly good for this kind of time because you can simply close the door behind you and get on with your processing in peace.

When The Time Is Right, Be Kind To Yourself

Whenever the time does feel right to declutter, it is important that you allow yourself to take the time and the emotions for yourself, processing as you see fit, and ultimately never rushing the process. Do utilise London storage to store items you aren’t sure about yet, and do lean on a friend or loved one for support. It is a difficult process, but ultimately, decluttering after an emotional event is an important process that can be very comforting, cathartic and result in the items at hand being more cherished and enjoyed than they are boxed or bagged up. Whenever and however you do it, more than anything else, be kind to yourself.