A guest post by Julia St. Charles
My mother’s home is full of “too good to use” items and random objects from babyhood and toddlerhood.
I’d love to write an open letter to young parents along the lines of:
Dear Young Parents:
If you are going to save mementos from your children’s early years, please do not save everything. Except for handmade or heirloom items, like the baby quilt Grandma made, or the hand-knit layette from Aunt Barbara, give outgrown clothing to Goodwill — ordinary clothing will be both too physically aged and too far out of style for your imagined future grandchildren to use. When you do pack away the hand-knit layette and handmade quilt, get storage advice from a professional so they are not opened 25 years later for the first grandchild, only to find they have been destroyed by moths.
Your children will let you know which favorite items they want to hang onto: that special Dr. Seuss book, that favorite Teddy bear. You won’t have to ask. Please do not save each and every toy, birthday gift or other belonging “in case they want to take a walk down memory lane one day.” Forty years from now your daughter will not want that card from her third birthday, whether the giver can be identified or not. Keep only a few “milestone” birthday and Christmas cards if you wish, and try to limit those to people who are deceased, as that may be all you have left from them.
Another thing your child will not want is old schoolwork assignments. Really, they won’t want those fifth grade math tests and report cards, no mater how many A’s they got.
Keep photos and very few “things.” 99% photos. Your middle aged daughter will not want to inherit an attic jam packed with broken Barbies, musty toddler clothes and tattered holiday cards “for a special three-year-old!” Think ahead: “will I be leaving an inheritance or a burden?”
Today’s Mini Mission
Take a quick look in the bathroom and find something to declutter. It’s that simple. Don’t fuss don’t hesitate just find that one thing and get it our of there.
Today’s Declutter Item
Talking of children’s keepsakes… this is the last of my son’s Snoopy Collection. I gave it to a friend some time ago but misplaced the photo. So this will absolutely be the last photo of Snoopy stuff. Liam I am glad to say is very good at letting go of stuff.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast