The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Angie at Echoes of Laughter.
Organizing Children’s Keepsakes – What to Keep and What to Let Go
During the past few weeks, I have been busy re-doing my 12 year old son’s room including a fresh coat of paint and a new floor plan. And for the first time in 8 years, I completely emptied his room. I mean that we literally removed everything and did a major purge and re-organize. It was hard work and it took a lot of hours. We sorted the many contents of his closet and had to make many, many decisions about what to keep and what to purge and it was not easy. You see, although I love being organized and clutter-free, I am also a very sentimental person. I do like to treasure things that bring happy memories of years past. So for me, it’s a constant dilemma as to what to keep to satisfy the sentimental side of me and what to purge to keep my ‘organized/clutter-free’ side happy. It’s a constant battle, which I’m sure is why many people get into trouble with keeping and storing too many things, and in extreme cases, leads to hoarding. The battle between heart and logic is a tough one. After sorting through many of the things in my son’s room, I have kept only memories of his first 12 years in these 4 small boxes (purchased from London Drugs for $9.99 each). That’s it. Everything else went…and that was a huge accomplishment. Let me share with you what we decided to keep and what’s inside these 4 little boxes.
After much thought, I decided on one box of keepsakes for babyhood, one for toddler-hood and 2 boxes for special books and toys. Below you will find the box for babyhood, and inside are just a few special things. I decided that I wanted to keep just a few things to remind me of his precious baby days and so he could have some tangible keepsakes from a period of his life that he doesn’t remember. And we could keep it very minimal if we stuck to a few little special moments in his life. Here’s what we kept: the outfit he wore home from the hospital, one little outfit that he looked so sweet in, one baby blanket, one onesie, his first sun hat, his baptism outfit and his first Christmas bib. Lots of things were disposed of years ago, so these are the final remaining keepsakes.
For toddler-hood, we kept his favourite hat, his first little tie, some favourite fall sweaters, and some other special gifts like an engraved silver cup. Just a few little reminders of the little boy that he once was.
When it came to books, we had oh-so-many, but in the end I chose to keep the books that he really enjoyed as a little guy and that I clearly remember him looking at and asking me to read to him. In his case, some of his favourite books were also the ones that were the most chewed! And I also kept a few small baby toys.
These 4 boxes were all that I allowed myself to keep. And as my son and I went through the items together, I shared some stories of what he was like as a baby. He loved hearing these tidbits, which is another point for keeping a few keepsakes…they help to trigger memories to share with loved ones and that serves to strengthen family connections. And he was happy with having a few things from his baby and toddler days that he could share with his own children some day.
And now we have those 4 small boxes stored on a shelf in the storage area in our warm and dry basement. It was a lot of tough decision-making, but in the end, I believe that we have found a balance between heart and logic, and that makes me very happy!
How about you? Have you found a happy space between heart and logic when it come to keeping keepsakes?
You can see a bit more of the re-organizing we did in my son’s room by visiting HERE.
Angie’s blog, Echoes of Laughter, is all about filling your home with love and laughter. She loves creative projects, organizing & decorating, cooking, baking, and all things domestic. Angie lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband and two great kids.
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