I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who likes to save everything. As and adolescent, I saved every note passed between my BFFs and me in Jr. High and every card I received for my 16th birthday. The outfit I was wearing when my first boyfriend kissed me behind the town pool was saved for years in a box in the attic along with every card, dried flower, and gift he’d ever given me. (We only dated for about six months, but when you’re 12, six months is a lifetime.) These things were so special to me. How could I just toss them into the trash can or the Goodwill bin?
But after heading east for college, it seemed that I was moving once a year for about the next 8 years. And none of the dorm rooms or apartments I lived in had much space for storage. I learned quickly to be selective about the things I acquired. The more stuff I had, the more there was to pack and move the following fall. I began to see stuff for what it really was- stuff!
Fast forward to the beginning of this month. I decided to sell at my twin club’s fall tag sale, which required me to pull out all the remaining baby clothing, toys, and gear to sort and tag. I decided to get rid of it all since we’re 99.9% sure we’re not having another baby (a sad decision that I had to make with my head, not my heart), but I had no idea how many memories and emotions would flood through me as I went through bin after bin of infant clothing.
My inner pack rat was going nuts! Every piece of clothing and every toy seemed significant in some way- it was a gift from someone special to us, they were wearing it the first time they did one thing or another, and then of course there were just many, many personal favorites. And while I knew that these things were just things, I also knew that I just could not get rid of everything.
So, I designated one bin, one 30 gallon bin, to be my keepsake bin. (I may eventually have two bins, one for each child, but for now, it’s just one.) My goal is that this bin will hold everything I want to save to remember moments from my twins’ childhood from 0-18. And it was amazing how wonderful it felt to be able to hold onto some of those things- the tiny, little onesies for 5-7 pound babies, the going home outfits, my daughter’s first tiny sun dress, the collared shirt and corduroys my son wore on his first birthday, and those first little walking shoes. It is my hope that one day, I will share these items with my kids and tell them all about the wonderful memories these keepsakes hold for me.
What items hold special memories for you? Where do you keep them, and how do you keep yourself from keeping too much?