Collecting mementos of our child’s life is something most parents do. But when does
our collection of treasured keepsakes turn into clutter? It’s natural to want to
hang onto the memories of our children by keeping all their special things, but
that collection can easily become overwhelming. Now is the time to decide what you
should keep and what you should toss. Here are a few ideas to help you sort through
- Rate your keepsakes. Look through your collection and only keep the ones that make
you smile, laugh and cry. The ones that really stir your heart or capture important
events. Ask yourself if you really need to keep each school project or test? Maybe
only keep the projects that you know your child especially loved working on. Or
the fantastic school test result for a subject that your child struggled with all
- Set a limit. Make a decision to only keep a set number of items for each year of
your child’s life. Or maybe one memory box for each year or two.
- Can you store it? For everything that we keep we need to ensure we can store it
easily. Will it fit in the box,
folder or scrapbook you are putting together? If
not, maybe it’s time to let it go.
- Ask your children. This may sound dangerous (my son would love to keep each of his
drawings) but asking your children to help you sort through the keepsakes is a great
lesson for them. Show them how many drawings you’ve kept and how much space that
takes, then ask them to choose five to keep. If they are struggling with letting
go of the rest then maybe take photos of other favourite artworks and projects and
keep a digital file instead.
Sorting and purging on a regular basis will hopefully result in a collection of
keepsakes that you and your children (and their children!) will treasure in the
years to come.