For most of us, it’s easy to toss, recycle or donate duplicate household furnishings, old kids’ toys and clothing we no longer wear or need.

But how about those boxes of vacation photos (taken with actual cameras)? Physical vestiges from former careers such as uniforms? The Mothers or Fathers Day gifts made by your now-grownHow to Clear the Toughest Clutter child?

Those items aren’t so blithely pitched into a discard pile. The emotional attachment and memories we harbor over sentimental “junk” can make it difficult to blaze ahead with restorative, clutter-busting projects.

But if you’re preparing to move into a new custom Florida home, now is the best time to do it. The key to sifting those memories and dear-old items, is to consider them from your current viewpoint, not from the past.

Check out our tips for how to clear the toughest clutter.

Stuff with big price tags

We’ve all been here. The cowboy boots we bought out west, that pinch our feet. The black-tie dress worn once, now outgrown.

And it’s not only clothing.

Pricey, task-specific kitchen appliances (are you over your juicing phase?). Obsolete furniture. The raft of 50-percent-off holiday ornaments bought five years ago, price tags still attached.

We dropped significant dough on this stuff and think jettisoning it confirms our bad investment.

So face it head-on. Ease the pain by selling what’s salable at consignment shops, eBay, Craigslist, etc., and donate items you can’t sale. Someone will get some good out of it.

That’s not a total loss.

Stuff from life experiences

See the aforementioned cowboy boots.

Travelers tend to bring home mementos, which can include anything from photos to books to furniture. Anyone with years into a chosen career, quickly accumulates tools of their trades.

If you’ve ever considered compiling a scrapbook, you likely have more than enough material waiting in drawers, boxes and bins.

The problem? Saying, “Someday I’ll do a scrapbook.”

Now’s a great time! It’s a fun, enlightening way to bust this kind of clutter, especially if you do it with friends or family members who participated, and appreciate the I-remember-when stories.

Use only your best mementos and discard duplicates — or give them to friends and family members for their scrapbooks.

Feel lighter already?

Stuff you get emotional about

This is the toughie. Let’s face it together.

The first set of dishes you and your spouse or partner, bought together. Your kids’ baby shoes. Gifts and inherited items that aren’t your style, from people who are now deceased.

Every time you examine items in this category, you must weather those emotions. Plus, a lot of items are no longer usable.

The solution? Pare down their emotional hold. Give the baby shoes to your kids to pass down to their kids.

Keep one dish and donate the rest. Same for Grandma’s afghan collection.

Take photos of everything you can store digitally. Let most of it go!

Ready for your new custom Florida home? Start the conversation here. opens in a new window