Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Sentimental clutter and memorabilia - Part 3 - the final round up!

This is my final round up of sentimental decluttering and organising, dealing with a couple of categories which can be tricky.

Children's artwork and creations
Children are little clutterbugs - and I don't mean that in a bad way! Even a child who is not that keen on drawing and crafting will bring piles of artwork and school work home. When my children were little, I dealt with this in a very slapdash way, randomly picking 'favourites' to keep, and putting other things on the wall in their rooms or on the fridge. I know better now! If I'd have thought about it, I would have kept one year's worth of art and work for each child, and at the end of the year picked out 3 or 4 items to keep, with the help of the child, of course. It would have been far more manageable! I know in
the attic there are several boxes of school papers and art to deal with.
I will be doing an attic declutter post in the future!

Another thing that occurred to me, when helping my younger son to sort out his bedroom, is that there will be things your child wants to keep, and things that you want to keep, and they'll probably be different! I now have in my memory box a couple of his drawings and pieces of written work that I wanted, but that he wasn't interested in keeping. I don't think many children would like to reach adulthood and have their mother give them every piece of art, craft project and school book they had ever owned! Be realistic about what you have room to keep, and why you are keeping it - a few pieces that make you smile are better than an overwhelming attic crammed full. Someone will have to deal with this stuff when you're no longer here.

Another alternative, particularly good for those towering creations made from cereal boxes and barely held together with glue, is to take a photo and then dispose of the object. A friend of mine used to use her children's paintings, cut up, to make their party invitations, thank you cards and as presents for doting relatives. I also found these rather pricey frames for children's artwork. I think simple, cheap frames from somewhere like Ikea or any large supermarket would serve the same purpose.

Greetings cards

I don't keep them. They are displayed for a week or so after the event (longer for Christmas cards) and then they are recycled. Occasionally I will keep a card with a special message written in it, but other than that, out they go. I'm aware, though, that many people keep all the cards they are sent. All. The Cards. That's a lot of cards, in the case of one of my relatives who is in her eighties. Realistically, how often is she able to look through them all? And does she remember who the sender was (I'm not casting aspersions at her memory - I recently found a leaving card from a job I'd had in my twenties - I didn't remember 90% of the people who'd signed it!). It seems the issue of what to do with greetings cards divides lots of bloggers - Colleen of 365 Less Things is against keeping them, here, and Jen keeps and stores them here at IHeart Organizing. Whatever you decide, you need to have the room. And, just my opinion, but why store something if you never, ever look at at it again?

I'd love to know what you think about keeping cards and children's artwork.

Happy decluttering!

Lemons x


  1. It's a relief to hear that I CAN dispose of greeting cards...I have huge stacks of them. My husband kept sacks of his children's artwork and only gave it to them around age 25. They seemed to be very amused by what he had selected out of all their work.

  2. Thank you for commenting, Terri - only get rid of them if you want to - it's not my intention to say that everyone should! But I do find asking myself the question 'why' is helpful! x