As you journey through life together, it’s easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. Perhaps you’ve saved keepsakes, photos, or awards from your childhood, collected souvenirs from past trips, or inherited special mementos from family members. You may have clothing in your closet that doesn’t fit as well anymore, or home décor hidden away that doesn’t reflect your current style. Deciding what to store and what to let go can become a troubling point for many couples.

If one of you is more inclined to give away, donate, or dispose of unwanted items and the other prefers to hold onto everything, everyday items around your home may trigger big emotions and arguments. While your spouse might have a desire for simplicity or order that drives them to clear away anything non-essential, there may be a sense of nostalgia or security that makes you cling to certain items. Understanding the heart of those values and desires below the surface will help you shift from ongoing frustration to deeper understanding.

Here’s an activity you can try with your spouse:

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