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I don't think I am a hoarder but I keep everything

(20 Posts)
MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 16:44:28

I have about a dozen items from my childhood - 2 teddies, some photos, a few books and it really upsets me at times that there is so little to show for my young existence. Consequently I have kept almost 100% of every picture my child every drew, all certificates from school, their diaries I used to write daily of their young lives (0-5ish years for the eldest, slightly less for dc2 and slightly less again for dc3). Many many photos. We have a lot in albums and on walls as the children like to sit and look through them and I like them on the walls.

I liked that my house was a home and there were toys everywhere as it was concrete evidence that I had a family.

However, we have three children which means a lot of stuff but it isn't even just their stuff really. I gave a lot to playschool and have kept some books, toys and jigsaws they have grown out of in the loft. It is also my stuff. I am bored with many of my clothes but with my weight I don't know where I am.

This is as muddled as my house blush.

I have just registered a big bag of books for sale and even that one job makes the bookcase in my room look tidy and the whole room better.

My question is how do you know what to keep and what you should pass on/get rid of? I don't want to get rid for the sake of it (hardly making a dent in the process) and then regret it.

Cyb Mon 27-May-13 16:47:13

You won't regret it. You won't remember it once its gone. Take pics of things if you're not sure so at least you've got a reminder. The things themselves don't mean anything.

Better for your kids to have space to play than loads of old toot lying about surely

And existences aren't marked out by now much stuff is kept...

mrspaddy Mon 27-May-13 16:49:02

Could you buy a box for each child.. a nice large one and sit with them and let them pick?? An idea to reduce storage is to buy A4 wallets with built in polypockets 200 pages and store paintings etc back to back?

Cyb Mon 27-May-13 16:49:55

Also toys and clutter are not concrete evidence you have a family. Your family is concrete evidence

pictish Mon 27-May-13 16:50:28

You need space to make memories, not space to keep them. x

Cyb Mon 27-May-13 16:53:14

To answer your question, I've got three kids too and have kept stuff like their first baby grow they cam who me from hospital in, their school reports, funny cards they've written, etc. but all this would fit in a couple of shoe boxes. I whittled down photos a while ago , again one shoe box. With iPhones etc nothing gets printed off now anyway

Toys I am ruthless with and usually do one in, one out

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 16:55:55

They children have plenty of room to play, I just know my house at time could be tidier but they are not so good at tidying up after themselves.

The existence thing is because I was in care so no one really bothered about keeping stuff for me. I would move, everything would be left behind and binned. Over and over again.

pictish Mon 27-May-13 17:01:12

Well...then your feelings make a lot of sense OP.

CremeEggThief Mon 27-May-13 17:07:41

I think a drawer at a time might be the best way forward for you, OP.

Be kind to yourself and take it as slowly as you need thanks. It's an on-going process, IME, not something you have to do all at once.

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 17:08:42

My children love knowing what time they were born and how much they weighed. I have no clue and will never know. I used to write their new words, sentences and funny things they said in a book and my dd loves to sit and look at it. Last month she was reading her baby diaries. It makes me happy to see but I know I am keeping everything for me, because of me, as they are too little to appreciate it all yet but if they wanted this stuff and I didn't have it then I would know how they felt.

I need someone to show me better ways of having the house so we can use the space better and so I can keep in top of it better. There is just so much stuff but it feels like we need all of it confused.

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 17:09:54

Have just thrown away my favourite jumper that ds 1 and ds2 wore as it has a hole in the sleeve and am I really going to turn it into a cushion blush.

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 17:11:02

Thank you pictish and CremeEggThief. You missed an egg, There is one in my sock drawer smile.

IAmNaturallyThisOrange Mon 27-May-13 17:11:43

MissStrawberry I know exactly what you mean...Being the youngest of 10 children , by the time it came to me my parents -couldn't be bothered- didn't have the energy to keep my things from childhood, a few pics, toys and books. Like you I thought I'd be -better- different to my DPs and keep EVERYTHING my children had done/achieved/collected. 3DCs later, 4 house moves and finally moving into our 'forever' home I am literally drowning in 'memories'
Watching this thread in hope I can let go and live in the present...Any fab ideas???

IAmNaturallyThisOrange Mon 27-May-13 17:16:44

X posts with OP I don't know how you feel re lack of parents, mine were there just -knackered- busy smile

IAmNaturallyThisOrange Mon 27-May-13 17:17:55

...very slow typist -children want attention-

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 17:20:18

My children are either with my PIL or their dad at the swimming pool so I am having some peace. Need to clear out under the bed now as we have some new additions joining the family this week grin.

CremeEggThief Mon 27-May-13 17:28:29

Yum! Thanks MissS smile.

There are some good threads on this forum about organisation and decluttering, but remember it's ok to go at your own pace.

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 17:39:49

Currently cleaning out under the bed. Pleased to find my eye mask that I have been looking for, not so pleased I just hovered up some money. Oops.

Jan49 Mon 27-May-13 18:21:48

I would give away toys once they've outgrown them. I found that my ds's toys and children's books did have lots of memories for me but it was completely impractical to keep them. Also it's nice to pass on things that someone else can use. I'd keep certificates and some of their art work and the diaries and records you've made.

I have nothing from my childhood except certificates, school reports and photos. I wish I had a little of my school work, maybe a story I'd written. I was the youngest of 3 in a small house (no space to "keep stuff") and my parents died before I reached adulthood. I don't know things like my birthweight or what age I walked and I think they would have been able to tell me a lot if they'd lived.

I've kept all my ds's school work (he's an adult now). I know I'll have to cut it down one day and just keep a selection of pieces of work. I've also got a scrapbook of his artwork from when he was little. I have a diary I wrote when pregnant, and a small hardback book where I also recorded things like his first words, weight, height. The really precious things could fit one box if I got rid of most of his school work. Strawberry, you could have one box per child to keep the most precious things in. That would enable you to keep very precious memories and your children to know things about themselves without taking up a lot of space.

MissStrawberry Mon 27-May-13 20:36:19

I think it would be a start to maybe not keep every single painting and drawing they have ever done.

Just came to me, I think I keep the stuff to show the kids I care as I have no stuff and I know no one cared.

Toys are easier to give away though I have a fairly big age gap between 1 and three so they last a long while.

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