Don’t worry, I understand. Organizing and editing keepsakes is much different than organizing your refrigerator. The bond with your daughter’s first drawing is definitely stronger than your bond with the expired yogurt. That said, you can’t collect and store EVERY toy, special outfit or photo. Let’s begin with a few questions that might help you edit what you’ve saved.
What are your criteria for saving items? Is there family history involved that you want to pass down? Is there a special story? Do you have a method for sharing that story? Who will eventually take ownership?
Think about it for a minute. If you save a toy for your child but have no means for communicating why you’ve saved it, then it becomes meaningless. My seven year old won’t remember her toys from her first year of life, and simply collecting them in a box for her won’t have a very meaningful impact when she opens them at age 20. However, if I carefully select a toy(s) with special meaning and convey WHY I selected it, then I’ve created a wonderful gift and memory.
Put another way – would you rather open a box of toys from your first year of life with no story or explanation, or would you rather have one toy along with a note from your Mom explaining why she saved it?
I’ll do more posts on keepsakes and provide more examples. Here is one that I’ve done for my 7 year old. It is a small box with toys and keepsakes from year one. Her father and I carefully selected these particular toys because 1. They are small 2. We have MANY stories about her playing with them. 3. It is easy to convey the significance of them.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and field your questions on this topic.