It’s a big question. What will you keep for your children as they grow older?
What toys and personal mementos are they going to want to remember and look through later? What will they treasure as adults?
I almost cried when I found my old, tiny dollhouse furniture. I didn’t know my mom had saved it. We placed it in Lane’s dollhouse to give to her for Christmas.
When it comes to saving toys and other keepsakes, there are three important considerations.
- How much was it loved?
- How big is it?
- How well will it keep?
In other words, will it store well and is it worth keeping?
One thing I know we will save is the wooden play food from Haba. It’s small, it gets played with all the time, and it will look exactly the same in thirty years. I want to have a few toys available for small guests to play with at our house, and then pass them on to grandchildren.
Passing it Down
Here’s a question from a Small Notebook reader:
How well I can relate to that dilemma! I’ve lived in an apartment my entire adult life, and I wasn’t ready to receive the big storage boxes of keepsakes my mom saved.
It’s “out of sight, out of mind” when it’s at your house, and most grown kids will be satisfied to leave their stuff at your house for as long as you’ll let them. Or maybe they want it, but not yet.
Either way, it’s delayed decisions.
It’s difficult to know what will hold sentimental value to another person, so the best thing to do is sort through it with their help. Just be careful to stay focused so that you don’t end up reminiscing and then putting it all back in the boxes when you’re done.
A couple of years ago I looked through those boxes with my mom, and together we were able to reduce how much stuff was being kept. I didn’t care about old trophies. I reduced a big storage bin of elementary school art papers down to one artwork album that I love to look at. A few other things weren’t looking so good, and the memories were better.
If you can’t work on it together in person, maybe you could do it over email. Send pictures of the item with the subject line, “Do you want this?”
Do your grown children still want the actual item, or the memory of it? Maybe you could find old pictures of them playing with beloved toys, to keep instead.
Don’t forget the golden rule of keeping sentimental things:
the fewer things you keep, the more special they are.