Every week one of my clients struggle with the question of what to do with their kid’s stuff; especially their keepsakes. I get it, it’s hard to throw away or donate something your child created, won, made or achieved. The problem is, you can’t keep all of it and certain adult children don’t want any of it.
If your kids are little now, start this process early by not keeping every piece of paper with a scribble drawn on it. Trust me, you will thank me later (just ask my clients with older or grown kids and 50 bins of their “art work”).
I’ve heard it all: “but what if they change their mind later”, “will they be mad at me if I toss it”, “can’t we take a picture of every item, get a quilt made,…..?”
The answer is….. keep the really important items. The ones that are laminated, have their hand or foot print on them, the major achievements and maybe 1 or 2 reports cards, ribbons, funny letters, etc.
You can do what my mother did when I was 25 (see photo above). She gave each of my brothers and I one beautiful box with a few precious photos, memories and one toy we loved (my Valentine’s Barbie with the hearts on her dress). First she gave us each the opportunity to come get it all. When we were not interested after a few attempts, she selected the 15-20 small items she thought we would want and gave them to us. I have no idea what she did with the rest but I assure you it is not in their home taking up precious space collecting dust for someday maybe.
None of us are mad at our parents for not keeping all of our stuff. If we wanted it, we would have picked it up. You are not your children’s storage unit. There may be a time in the near future when you want or need to move. You don’t need to keep everything your child has ever done nor do you need to store it and then move it.
Yes you can get a quilt made of a few precious baby clothes or t-shirts but that doesn’t mean you should keep hundreds. I also recommend you do take photos of things to keep as memories; for instance, that huge stork everyone gets when they have a baby. Another good example is the gazillions of trophies. Just take a picture of them and let them go.
I hope that helps you in making those tough decisions. If you need help, we are here for you:
404-825-2105 or Heather@simplyorganizedyou.com