I will be the first to tell you, I have way too much stuff. I did not realize how much of a hoarder I was until I got older. I used to cry for weeks about things my mom would get rid of in my room. Now that I look back on it, of course I see how ridiculous I was being.
I was one of those kid’s that felt as if everything I owned had a soul. You laugh, but Toy Story really did some damage on how emotionally connected I felt towards all my toys. (Okay, now I’m laughing too.)
Now that I live in a condo, I’m married, and I am a 23 year old adult woman I feel as if it’s time to part ways with my childhood memories. One of our family members has taken over our garage and it has become a dump site for all three of us. It is so bad that I am embarrassed to open our garage door. Which is why when I quit my job a month ago, I had decided that it was going to get clean and today was my first step towards reaching the goal of being able to park one of our cars where it is supposed to go.
Upon weeding through my toys I realized that I’m somewhat still attached to, not the toy itself, but the memories that were created with the Polly Pockets or stuffed animal. I found myself sitting in the living room wanting to keep everything as if getting rid of something would make my joyful memory disappear.
Unlike my husband, I had a great childhood. My younger brother and I had it made. We had Christmas’s when gifts were spilling out from underneath the tree and birthdays where the gifts just kept on coming. Silly as it seems I tried to keep my childhood going for as long as I could, playing with dolls up until I was 15. I never wanted to stop being a child. Alas, everybody grows up. *sigh*
How to change your mindset when deciding to give up your tangible memories:
- When was the last time you used it? Be honest with yourself, when was the last time you combed Barbie’s hair or gave your stuffed puppy a hug?
- Is it something that could be worth value that you wouldn’t plan on using? Great! Look up that toy. There’s all sorts of websites that can give you an estimate on how valuable that toy is. Try selling through Ebay or Craigslist!
- This phrase is something that stops me from tossing my toys every time, “I bet my future daughter would love playing with my Polly Pockets.” Truth is, I’m more than likely wrong. Children always want what’s new. When I was little I didn’t want hand me down toys, instead I wanted to go to Toys R Us and have the next best thing.
- If it’s something you’ll never use again but want to keep due to the memories think about taking a picture (You can have a whole scrapbook of your favorite toys and think about all the space you’re saving yourself.)
- The best thinking process I have come up with is to think about all the children and families out there just scrapping by. I feel as if a five year old girl would get much more use out of my dolls and animals than if they were collecting dust in the attic.
- I like to make sure my once loved valuables are going someplace that they will be given to rather than sold. Which is why I send my things to something along the lines of a Women and Children’s shelter rather than Goodwill.
If you go through all those steps and still think you need to save some stuff, then do so but limit the amount. I have given myself one big container that I will fill up and put someplace so I can go back and cherish my childhood. Although it’s great to have tangible memories, the clutter bothers me. So I as I look through my scrapbook and rekindle the memories, I will also picture the children and the smiles on their faces when they hug my fluffy stuffed animals.