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Saving your child’s baby things: How much is too much?

by respaced on July 13, 2010

Every mom I have helped get organized has a box (or boxes) of their child’s baby items, which they are keeping for sentimental reasons. I see nothing wrong with this. I have a box of some of my son’s baby toys and clothes too. I love to look back at the clothing and remember how cute he was as a baby and marvel over how much he has grown.

The problem comes when you have saved not four or five baby outfits, but 20 or 30. It becomes a big problem when you add in multiple storybooks, handmade baby blankets, several stuffed animals and a collection of high quality toys. And the problem becomes massive when you have more than one child, whose stuff you save and continue to save all through their childhood.

So how do you handle the sentimental items that remind you of your children’s childhood? Here’s a few suggestions:

1. Set limits. These limits will probably be based on the amount of storage space you have. For example, you might limit yourself to one oversized plastic tub per child. If that tub gets too full, you will have to go through the tub and get rid of something to make it all fit.

You also might set a limit that is based on how many items you save each year. Maybe you can limit yourself to saving no more than three sentimental items per child per year. I wouldn’t count artwork and school work among the three items. For ideas on how to store those, read my post called How to Store and Organize Kids’ Artwork.

2. Take photos of your child with the sentimental item, and keep only the photo instead of the item. You could make a really lovely photo book by including photos of your child’s artwork along with the photos of the sentimental items. Read about making photo books here.

3. Take a video of your child playing with his favorite toy or wearing that special outfit you were thinking of keeping. Then discard the item and keep only the video.

Lest your eyes glaze over with information overload, I will talk more about saving your child’s belongings in my next post. Stay tuned for a list of “don’ts” when it comes to this emotional subject on Friday.

Image courtesy of The Knit Tree.

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