My mom had a cedar chest that she kept our baby clothes in. I remember going through it and pulling out the yellowed pieces from when we were little. Hearing the stories about her dressing my twin sister and I in boy’s clothes because they had no money at the time to buy formula, let alone matching outfits for us.
Then a few sweet matching dresses that had been gifts. It was fun to look through and to hear the stories.
As I’ve pursued this simplified lifestyle, its been fairly easy for me to part with sentimental items. Items from my childhood like toys and school projects and report cards and nick nacks (that I once treasured) have been discarded as we pursue a larger goal. But now, having babies of our own, I’ve found that I’ve wanted to hold on to a few things so that one day I too can share stories of their first couple of years prompted by little outfits, hospital bracelets and baby blankets.
While I’m not generally one to store things that aren’t useful and used regularly (we have one bin each for the kids’ clothes to grow into, one bin for Christmas, one for Easter/Halloween, and a couple for seasonal wear-boots, hats, snow pants), I decided this was worthwhile (and we have the space!).
So I headed to Walmart to look for storage containers that weren’t too big and would stack and store easily. I liked these ones because they could they fit neatly under our bed in our townhouse. Now in our new house, they are stacked in our upstairs closet.
They definitely aren’t a beautiful cedar chest, but they are functional & practical. Plus, I like that they are separate, so I can easily add items to any of them and never have to dig through a bunch of stuff.
And like I’ve mentioned before, I like when storage is limited, in other words, I can only keep what fits in the container. I was selective and felt like I had plenty of room to keep what was important at the time.
The other thing I kept in the back of my mind while I was filling these is that we have a million pictures from when the kids were babies. So I don’t need to keep EVERYTHING, we have PLENTY of documentation of their first few years :)
I made a label for each box and here is what I put inside:
- Hospital bracelets, hats and the name cards from their hospital basinets
- Baby cards from family and friends
- A few favorite outfits, including the one they wore home from the hospital
- The blanket my mom crocheted for each of them
- Growth charts from their check-ups
- First pair of shoes
- First stuffed animals
- Cake decorations from their first birthday
Overall, this system has worked really well and the good news is: I don’t regret not keeping anything. This seems to be just the right amount of keepsakes, and even having them out now to take a few pictures brought back fond memories and made me smile.
And I know I mentioned that it has been fairly easy for me to let go of sentimental items by keeping our larger goal in mind, but if you aren’t quite there yet you may find this article from The Minimalists helpful: Letting Go of Sentimental Items
I’d love to know how you keep baby memories? Please share below!
To happy memories,
Related: How I store & organize kids’ clothes
P.S. If you’re on Pinterest would you mind sharing? THANK YOU!!!