When moms become hoarders

I have hoarder tendencies, especially when it comes to our children. The sentimental side of me wants to preserve every piece of artwork, treasured board book, and precious teeny tiny shoe.

These stripey sort-of-matching jammies! How can I part with youuuuuuuu?

But I also get antsy about clutter, so the organization-hungry side of me says “We don’t have the space! We can’t keep everything!”

Here’s the process I follow for keeping the “memories” under control …

Keep one memory box for each child. I have two medium-sized plastic totes in our master bedroom closet — one for our son, one for our daughter — for keeping the really special items. By keeping the box somewhere central, it’s easy to add items along the way and ensure nothing gets lost. I have saved their tiny soothers, the bibs from their first taste of solid food, certificates from their toddler “classes,” birth announcements, and first locks of hair — although we have yet to cut our daughter’s hair yet, so she will probably be 10 before that gets added.

Make space-saving decisions: When our youngest potty-trained, I found myself getting sentimental about parting with the kids’ shared stash of cloth diapers. Yes, I actually felt sappy about pieces of cloth that had been peed and pooed on, repeatedly, for years. But I knew it was silly to keep all of them, so I only kept three “favourites” — a blue one for our son’s memory box, a pink-and-purple design one for our daughter’s, and a black-and-white one for my own memory box — you know, so I can look back one day and remember changing those tiny (stylish) bums.

Continue reading over in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene … 

So what do you think?

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