Movers don’t have any problem with packing up a lifetime of someone else’s sentimental objects because those objects do not have emotional attachment to the mover. But for the owner of the keepsake, it’s a different story. There is a difference between ‘de-cluttering’ and ‘letting go’ and that difference is in the heart of the owner.

Many experts recommend taking these 10 steps to determine where a particular item should go – in the moving van or somewhere out of your life:

1. Prepare yourself – it is not easy to do this emotionally-charged task without making appropriate space in your schedule for it. Plan on at least a couple of hours with no interruptions and know that it gets easier with practice.

2. Get the object on its own instead of looking at a pile of stuff in a box and wondering if you should pitch it, take each object and assess it individually.

3. Touch the object hold it, smell it, remember why you have kept this item.

4. Assess your feelings – put the object down and look at how you feel about it. Negative or neutral emotions are signals to let this one go.

5. Answer the question, “Am I done with this?” – do you want this object and what it represents to be part of your story from now on? Trust your gut reaction.

6. Consider others does this actually belong to someone else, or would someone else want it? Give it to them and have more room for your own meaningful memories.

7. Say goodbye – actually saying ‘goodbye’ to something brings a sense of closure to your emotions and your memories. Some people take a picture, just in case they might want to revisit that memory someday.

8. Remove the object from your space – Get it out of your house to where it belongs, whether that is in the trash or in a new home.

9. Affirm your trust in future abundance – by letting go of the past, you are saying, “YES!” to the future.

10. Celebrate – do a happy dance and treat yourself to your favorite beverage. Get together with some friends, and make plans for your new home filled with the things you really love.