I’m not a hoarder by any stretch, (I believe the accepted term is COLLECTOR), but I have a terrible time getting rid of things that have sentimental value. Even though I attended high school and university a few years ago (ahem), I still have all my papers and projects from that time, and most of the textbooks too. I have no idea why, but I’m pretty sure this qualifies as useless sentimentality. My wedding dress, my baptismal outfit, and my sticker book from grade 8, all still here, all haven’t been used or looked at in years but clearly, in the still useless, but must keep sentimental pile.
And then we had kids.
You know what having kids means, right? It means that anything that comes in contact with your child is automatically sentimental. That piece of paper with one macaroni stuck to it? Get the tissue, because that is tear-worthy art, and holy crap, how dare you even try to get rid of that. (Just an aside, but if I had ANY IDEA how much paperwork was attached to having children, I may have reconsidered the entire thing, and stuck with goldfish. And no I don’t mean tax returns, I mean the never ending art, and scribbles and that piece of paper with the macaroni stuck to it).
Let me warn you – If someone tells you that you don’t need a lot of “stuff” when you have kids, they are LYING to you. You will buy things that you swore would never enter your house (and you’ll drive it there in the van you said you’d never drive too). Now add another child into the mix – one of the opposite sex – and hello, more stuff. Fast forward seven years, 12 Birthdays, 7 Christmases, 7 Easters, random gift giving, two sets of grandparents, three aunts, four uncles, a million cousins and friends galore, and the stuff begins to hoard itself.
As I am now wise to the overflowing kids’ phenomenon, please allow me to teach you the secret to a happy home – get rid of the stuff you don’t use. Genius, I know. It’s a total downer to be surrounded by all that no longer used baby stuff, especially when the kids are begging you to get rid of it too. Of course, they’re just trying to make room for their stuff, (you know, the stuff that replaced their baby stuff), but that’s a whole other story.
What’s the solution? Purge, Dump and SELL!. After having two garage sales in the last four years, we finally decided to get rid of the baby stuff. It took hours of purging, and prep and cleaning, but two weeks ago we finally did it. We let go of that big plastic car my kid would ride up and down the driveway a la Fred Flintstone. And the giant high chair that took up half our kitchen? GONE! Everything that involved Dora, Elmo, Thomas and other painfully painful yet beloved childhood characters, were now GONE! We got rid of it all, and donated the rest. It felt amazing, and the garage sale profits ($800) in my pocket had a lot to do with it.