Friday, January 28, 2011

What I keep

Throughout the past few weeks, you've stuck by me during my crazy organization/purging rampage.  I've cleaned out closets, laundry rooms, my kitchen and more.  I have boxes and boxes of stuff I'm going to get rid of this summer.

Here's a little secret:  I have a few storage totes I'm filling up with stuff I will keep.  Forever. 

Folks who know me know that I am truly a sentimental person, and that's why I hang on to things.  But these keepsakes are a great history of lives and living, and that's something I want to hang on to for as long as I can. 

For example, see all these Christmas cards?

After I took them down last week, I bundled them up, labelled them and safely tucked them into a storage tote.  I've been doing this for the past few years.  Christmas cards, and the letters and pictures that accompany them, tell the stories of family and friends through the years.  And when some of those people are gone, I will still have their notes and holiday greetings in my hand. 

I've saved most of the cards and letters I've received over the years.  I do the same for my kids, although now that I am older, my organization process has gotten much better.  One day I'll do for my letters/cards what I've done for theirs: organize them by year and occasion. 

I store all the cards and letters in photo boxes from craft stores.  They are the perfect combination of decorative and functional.

I also save a lot of keepsakes such as those "Baby's First Whatever" bibs... well as their Halloween costumes and almost every outfit they've had professional pictures taken in.

That way, years and years from now, my daughter can hold that green dress in one hand and marvel about how small she once was, and how far she's come since then. 

I 've done that a few times already, and this picture was only taken three months ago!  My Big Martha saved some of my baby clothes for me, and now I'm seeing my daughter in a few items that I once wore. Some items are definitely worth saving!

So if, while you're organizing your house and throwing out clothes you no longer wear and items you no longer use, you happen to stumble across an item that makes you smile and perhaps even brings a tear to your eye, I give you permission to keep it. 

Just be sure to store it properly, and don't get carried away!

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