Sunday, September 14, 2014

To Keep or Not to Keep: Childhood Things

I brought home some possessions from my childhood home recently.  I am almost 37 years old.  I should have done this for my parents years ago because I imagine it would be hard to decide for your own son or daughter what they get to keep from their old rooms.  Besides, it is my stuff.  I need to do the work.  I wasn't avoiding it; I like a good decluttering session.  But I definitely wasn't prioritizing it over my family's daily life.  I've taken some things here and there over the years, but I've never done a Major Cleanout.  As it goes, I was out visiting the folks, and I loaded up the van.

That Spanish family tree was a work of art.

And dumped it on the kitchen floor.

I actually thought about keeping these.  

When I first brought this stuff home, I was a bit overwhelmed because there is more still to come, but I knew I could work through it.  Also, this would mean more stuff to put in the basement, which contains things that are still proving themselves.  We don't really have room for more.

Don't fit anyway!

The longer I thought about it though, the more I realized that my childhood possessions needed to be whittled down even further than I thought they would need to be.  I live with my husband and three kids.  We will likely have more children.  Is the answer to get a bigger house to hold more stuff?  I don't think so.  We could get a bigger house, but it wouldn't be because I want to keep more stuff than really necessary.  I don't even want to keep all of this.  But what is the answer?  

I still had the Parkay margarine tubs that held Barbie's shoes!

How do you know what to keep from your childhood?  Your pom poms?  Your prom shoes?  (Hard to let go of fun high heels.)  Your awesome Barbie case?

The answer is none of those things because if I had to name the top five things I could save from my room they would be:

1) my Anne books (which are, in fact, already saved and have traveled around with me)
2) my framed Anne poster


I don't know what else!

Would that work for you?  If you had to decide what to save without looking at your possessions, could you do it?  What would you save?  If you can't think of it, is it worth keeping?  Was it really that important to you?

So, I took some pictures of certain items and sent them on their way to the charity shop.

We will see how Round Two goes.

What about you?  How do you decide what to keep and what not to keep?  Did you use Parkay tubs to organize your Barbie shoes?  More importantly, do you still have a pair of Dyeables??


  1. This is a tough one! I live 1000 miles away from my childhood home, but there's a closetfull of my stuff that's been there the past two of our yearly visits. I took a few things but never have more room. I guess I should tell my folks to just throw all the rest away, but it's hard to do! Makes me think hard about how much of my kids' stuff I hold on to. And yet, they're just starting to draw and I already have piles of their artwork saved!

    1. Oh, gosh, sorting childhood things would be much harder 1000 miles away. I am a short drive from my parents' house (also my childhood home). And I know what you mean about the drawings!