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I am being a ridiculous hoarder, amn't I?

(14 Posts)
starrychime Sat 20-Aug-11 22:56:48

I have been seriously decluttering today,have one big bag each for bin, charity and eBay. I have come across loads of stuff though that I'm sure most folk don't keep- eg. all the bags I got gifts in when DD was born (7 years ago), all the tags from said bags, birthday cards for the last 7 years (DD's, not mine!) - what is wrong with me that I keep all this stuff!! Does anyone keep this sort of thing?
I was thinking about it and wonder if it's because she is my one and only and the 'experience' of all that will never be repeated? What do you keep - for example I found the dress DD wore to her 1st birthday party and plan to keep that, have a big under bed plastic storage box full of baby stuff, a box of 'special' baby toys.
What kind of things do you all keep, assuming you won't have another child? I really need help with this as my house is awful and I just can't get on top of things because of all the STUFF! I really need to throw out the bags and cards though don't I? (though the bags are really pretty and I could maybe keep the 1st birthday cards? smile)

fruitshootsandheaves Sat 20-Aug-11 23:04:45

I have made an album for each of my DC's first year, so i have birth congrats cards, first christmas cards, gift tags and other memorabilia for each of them but only for the first year.
However my loft is full of other greetings cards that I have kept.
I have now sworn to declutter as I am currently in the middle of clearing my dad's house out (he's gone into a care home) and he kept everything. My school books, his school books, my mums school books, our school bags (even broken ones) our papier mache models, dolls, teddies, games.
It is very hard and quite upsetting to have to be so ruthless and throw it all away and just too time consuming to ebay or try to sell everyting. So I am determined that I WILL declutter as i would hate my children to have to do this.

CointreauVersial Sat 20-Aug-11 23:10:55

I have a box for each child, and I keep the most important stuff (new baby cards, first shoes, newspaper cuttings, really special artworks), but I am ruthlessly selective so I don't end up with too much crap.

I have a box of my own with stuff dating back to my childhood, and it is so precious to me.

A bit of sentimental hoarding is good, but be selective!!

nannyl Sun 21-Aug-11 09:13:48

my grandmother (who is 79) has still got nearly all her "special" birthday / xmas cards and letter etc.

by special it means family and close friends (so almost all then wink)

every card her mum / children / grandchildren & im sure great grandchildren will be kept too, there 1st great-grandchild (mine) is due 3 weeks today! has been kept.... even little "i love you" notes.

she has boxes and boxes of these special things.

same goes for all "special" cards her children got sent at any and every significant time

pretty much everyone who she has ever known who has died, well she has the bit cut out of the paper and funeral service sheet etc etc for all of them too.
These include people who she went to school with 70 years ago and may not have seen for 65+ years!

nannyl Sun 21-Aug-11 09:15:36

and i forgot, all wedding / christening / special partys etc etc invitations...

yes if they are from close-ish friends and family she has all of them too

PonceyMcPonce Sun 21-Aug-11 09:20:45

Maybe chose a special memory box to keep very special things in, like her dress.

Make a big display of the other things and photograph them?

I am making a big patchwork quilt out of my dds dresses as she outgrows them as a memory thingy.

Get rid of the gift bags though!

Scootergrrrl Sun 21-Aug-11 10:35:10

I read a good tip about taking photographs of special things, like toys and whatever, and keeping THOSE in a memory album if you're short of space, rather than the toy itself.

clangermum Sun 21-Aug-11 11:13:06

Photos are an excellent idea, then you are more likely to look at things. (And it's why I love digital frames, as we look at our photos much more than if they were in albums.)

For the people who keep cards etc, I wonder if they actually get them out and read them? For me this would be the dividing line between keeping something for future enjoyment and simply not being able to throw something away.

I think about this a lot as we also had to clear out a relative's house and being the one forced to do the throwing away was actually quite painful. On the other hand if stuff has been kept in an accessible way, there's a chance someone might value it in years to come.

acumenin Sun 21-Aug-11 11:23:35

fruitshootsandheaves, you know, you can get a trading assistant to sell your stuff for you on ebay. They'll take about 20% of the sale and you pay the ebay fees, but they'll also often pick up from the house and do absolutely everything else for you.

SuePurblybilt Sun 21-Aug-11 11:35:35

Poncey and I are of one mind. Special clothes can be cut up for a patchwork, in my case I am using them to mend worn squares in the patchwork my mother made for me. A memory box with some cards (I bundle them by year and only keep family ones or ones with nice messages written - the "To Small....Hallmark schmaltz.....from Aunty" can go in the recycling grin), special drawings, a first shoe, treasures.
We also do a scrapbook once a year to put all the stuff saved from outings or special projects. They just get stored on the bookshelf.

And start the one-in,one-out system for toys if your DD is anything like mine (soft toy hoarder), make a big fuss about giving them to charity for other children to play with.

And yes, the bags need to go. Are they gift bags? Re-use or give to the charity shop. If you cannot get rid of the cards, could you and DD make a collage or something for her room from them?

ChippingIn Sun 21-Aug-11 11:38:06

You might want to join in the chat here bit of a support/chat/therapy thread for hoarders

...but to answer your question...

I keep all Birthday & Christmas Cards. I put the Christmas cards into the Christmas Decorations box and the next year throw out any that are not from very close family/friends if I have got one from them that year. I love the fact I have many of mine from my Nana before she died and it's important to me. Also some friends that have died - I love having the last one they sent me and those go up in a special place each year (only I know why they're not with the others). They don't take up much room. I'd never ever throw out 'Congratulations on the birth' cards or any first birthday cards.

I don't keep the bags - I either keep them short term and reuse them if they're lovely and not damaged or they get used to do things - such as store the cards in - or they get recycled.

I also think it's lovely to keep firsts & special occasion things and their favourite toys that are in reasonable shape - it's lovely having them for her children. BUT you need to be a bit careful what you keep and store it properly/tidily.

Others wont keep anything. There's no right and wrong - just do what's right for you.

Clangers Mum - I don't generally set out to get them out and read them, but it does happen when I'm looking for something or am adding something to the boxes smile I love being able to HOLD and READ the cards/letters from my Nana and others who are no longer here to tell me how much they love me - it makes me feel closer to them. I look forward to my old age when I have time to sit and read them and look at the first little shoes, the baby cards etc. It's worth it to me to make room for these things.

clangermum Mon 22-Aug-11 10:30:40

ChippingIn - sounds lovely smile

downawell Mon 22-Aug-11 10:37:25

Poncey and Sue, that quilt idea is lovely. You should set up a business doing that for other people who are not so good with needlework. Fantastic decluttering idea.

CointreauVersial Mon 22-Aug-11 22:34:36

My SIL has a gorgeous quilt on her bed that her mum made for her - it has pieces from her childhood clothes / curtains etc and is so precious to her (and is a really lovely item in its own right).

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