Lost belongings

We see that some of Lost's main characters have important belongings or objects that have meaning to them and tie them to their 'old lives', so much so that they are strongly referenced in certain episodes. Kate had her airplane, Charlie has his ring, Jin has the watch, Sawyer has his letter, Des and Saiyd have photos, Jack has (perhaps) his tattoos. Does anyone think there is any significance to these things or are they just ways for the writers to give more back story to the characters? It would be interesting if there was some sort of deeper symbolism to them,other than what is shown in the episodes.

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