How to: Letting go of kids’ keepsakes

letting go of keepsakesLetting go of your stuff can be difficult. Letting go of your kids’ stuff can be really difficult. Their cute little jumpsuits , their first little shoes, their blankey. But, once they have outgrown it, do we need to keep it all? Here are a few methods of letting go that may help you pass-on those little treasures (the stuff, not the kids).

In my blog Marie Kondo’s Konmari method of decluttering, I mentioned that I too have difficulty letting go of gifts and stuff, which is part of the reason I began my own business as a professional organiser; so I can help others let go. Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking about letting go:

KonMari Method for letting go:

  •  Thank it for it’s service – it kept bub warm, it felt so soft and it was oh-so-cute,  but now the baby blanket has done its job, thank the item for it’s service and let it go.
  • Marie also says  of gifts… “the true purpose of a present is to be received. Thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it…” yes, all those beautiful things you received when you bought bub home from the hospital were gorgeous, and they certainly gave you great joy, but it is ok to let them go.
  • Marie explains the importance of living in the now “previous memories will never vanish even if you discard the objects associated with them. No matter how wonderful things use to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now is more important”. Bub has grown up now and exploring your cupboards or off to school, or off to high school. There are new exciting adventures around us every day – immerse yourself in the now rather than linger in the past.

keepsake quiltMore ways to help you let go:

  • Donate to an amazing local charity – We have some fabulous causes in Melbourne that are passing baby stuff directly to those in need, including St.Kilda Mums and the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. That beautiful blanket, those little booties and bub’s first book would be greatly received by these agencies.
  • Take a photo or make a video – As mentioned above, once the item has gone, the memories will not vanish. However, if you would like to be periodically reminded of those early years, get your child to help you take  photo or make a video of the item (this technique can be used to digitally capture art and craft projects all through your kids’ school years).
  • Shift your perspective –  “there is far more joy in giving things away than can ever be found in owning more” –
  • How do you want to live your life? Do you really want to live with every inch of space in your home  filled with the past crammed into “Space Bags”? Celebrate the past by creating a small memento of your kids’ early years and put it on display for all to see (find inspiration on Pinterest). Image on the right courtesy of LuxKeepsakeQuilts)

Final thoughts

I trust you have found at least one of the above techniques above will help you loosen your grip on the past. I regularly use a couple of these techniques  to help me (and to teach my kids) to let go off their stuff. I particularly like to thank an item for its service and to digitally capture our memories in a photo or video. Here’s some final thoughts to help you on your way:

I am not my stuff; we are more than our possessions.
Our memories are within us, not within our things.
Holding on to stuff imprisons us; letting go is freeing.
You can take pictures of items you want to remember.
Old photographs can be scanned.
An item that is sentimental for us can be useful for someone else.

If you are still finding it difficult to part with your kids’ keepsakes contact me for a chat or book me here and we can schedule time to work through your stuff using the above techniques.


Related article

Letting Go of Sentimental Items


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