9 Things You Might Regret Tossing Out the Next Time You Tidy Up

Think twice before sending these items to the trash or donation pile.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

If you've recently undergone some deep cleaning, or you're thinking about embarking on an organizational project, you might be wondering what things you really need to keep. Now, some things are always going to be worth tossing—anything broken that can't be repaired, for example—but for other items, the line between keep or toss isn't so clear cut. Below, we spoke with organizing experts to learn which items you shouldn't throw away, either because of their sentimental value or their importance for future planning.

Related: 8 Household Items You Should Get Rid of When You Deep Clean Your Home

Electronics and Appliance Manuals

This suggestion is a personal choice because, for some, looking up information on the internet might be the easier decision. But if that's not you, then don't toss your manuals, says Heather Aiello, CEO and founder of The Organized You. "Manuals contain important information for troubleshooting, maintenance, and warranty claims," she says. "Sometimes it’s easier for a person to grab the manual to read about troubleshooting or the use of the appliance; for others, it’s easier to look the information up online." If you do decide to keep them, store them all in one bin that is easily findable.

Sentimental Items

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Sentimental items can be anything from old letters and family heirlooms to yearbooks and baby books. If it has personal significance to you or your family, don't throw it away in the decluttering process—you might regret it later. "When I was helping my mother empty her mother's home, we came across a box of letters," says Diane Quintana, owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC. "It was tempting to just toss the box, but we took a closer look and found letters from my grandmother's grandfather to his daughter (my grandmother's mother) written in the 1800s. There is something to be said for holding on to things of this nature. It is evidence of how different life was."

Related: 10 Tips for Organizing the Messiest Spots in Your Home—According to Martha

Childhood Books/Games/Toys/Dolls

We're not saying you need to keep everything from your childhood, but if there is sentimental value to something you (or your children) used as a kid, then hang on to it. "If there are certain things from childhood that you want to save either to show future generations or just because they meant so much to you and represent a certain moment in time, it is fine to save them," says Jan Arkwright, owner of Before & After Organizing by Jan LLC. The purpose of decluttering things that aren’t important or needed is to have space to save those items that truly matter.

Autographed Items

Autographs by someone who is very famous may be a no-brainer to keep, says Arkwright. But what about those other autographs you might have (such as books or baseballs) by someone not as famous? "Again, if the item means something to you, represents a moment in time, or perhaps is by someone who might be a rising star, then there is nothing wrong with keeping it and revisiting the items at another time to see if you would still like to keep them," says Arkwright.

Unappraised Collections, Jewelry, and Coins

<p>Adrian Gaut</p>

Adrian Gaut

Get your collections appraised before you think about throwing them out (or, conversely, keeping them). Some items might be worth more or less than they were, so it helps to get items like jewelry, baseball cards, coins, books, and dolls professionally appraised for their current value. "So many collectibles today aren’t worth as much as they were," Arkwright says. "However, there are some vintage collections that, if in great condition, can be worth money and you might regret tossing them before you’ve had them professionally appraised."

Related: 10 Collectibles in Your Attic That You Didn't Realize Were So Valuable

Old Pictures and Videos

Instead of tossing old photos, try creating memory albums for them, either in physical or digital form. And, while most people don't regularly watch VHS tapes anymore, discarding tapes with family memories on them might leave you with some regret. "Throwing away old pictures and videos is my first regret. I still feel sad when I think about the lost VHS tape of my children and nephew dancing at an amusement park," says Tina Priestly, owner and operator of Ready, Set, REFRESH. "To prevent similar heartbreak, I've created memory albums for each of my children, filled with photos, certificates, game tickets, and other mementos specific to them."

Old Albums or CDs

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

What's old is new again, and those vinyl albums you were so willing to get rid of years ago are now very popular—so if you find more, hang on to them. The same holds true for your old CDs. "While it may seem like a good idea at the time, vintage albums hold enduring enjoyment and can even be valuable collector's items," says Priestly. "With the resurgence of record players, they've also become a nostalgic addition to home décor. So, consider their timeless appeal and potential worth before parting ways with your music collection."

Related: Do You Collect Vinyl Records? These Are the Most Rare and Valuable Pressings of All Time

Cords or Appliance Parts

Think twice before getting rid of appliance cords or parts you don't think you need—because you might need them in the future, and you will surely regret it. "I recommend storing these items in dedicated storage bags labeled with the appliance name to avoid this common regret," says Priestly. "This simple organization method makes it easier to locate cords and pieces when needed and prevents the accumulation of mystery items in a miscellaneous box." The one exception to this is if the cords or parts are for an appliance or electronic device you no longer use or need—then, it makes sense to get rid of random cords.

Related: 10 Things You Should Toss From Your Bedroom ASAP, According to Professional Organizers

Important Documents

<p>Utamaru Kido / Getty Images</p>

Utamaru Kido / Getty Images

It may seem obvious to some, but you should hang on to important documents like the deed to your house, car titles, or birth and death certificates. "Most of these documents should be saved," says Jan Arkwright. "I also always advise clients to check with their lawyer or accountant and keep a list of these documents and where they are located."

Read the original article on Martha Stewart.