I’m hopefully not very close to becoming a Grandma since my oldest girls are just 12, but I’ve been collecting items in a Grandma Bin since my twins were toddlers. When my 4th baby and son was born, I allowed myself a second bin.
When people have a tough time getting rid of toys as their kids grow, it is usually because they think it could be used in the future … and usually for grandkids. So, I just embraced it and called my bins “Grandma Bins”.
One of the secrets to keeping clutter in control and STAYING organized is to give boundaries and natural limits to collections. These bins give me a limit to the amount of toys I can keep, as well as a very real boundary.
If it fits, I get to keep it. If it doesn’t fit, I have to decide what stays and goes, so that everything I keep fits in the bins.
I can be pretty ruthless about decluttering, so I’ve been accused of having no sentimental feelings. It’s not true, though, because I’m actually very sentimental. It’s just that my desire for a clean home is stronger than some of my sentimental feelings. Having little “rules” for myself like my Grandma Bin lets me be sentimental AND also have a clean, decluttered home.
What do I choose to keep?
I keep the best of the best of my kids’ favorite toys. Toys they really loved, that I have memories of them enjoying. If I’m lucky enough to be a grandma one day, I think I’ll enjoy watching my grandkids play with these toys.
I don’t keep toys without memories or without strong memories, because then I’m just keeping stuff for stuff’s sake. Chances are my grandkids will accumulate plenty of “stuff” on their own in their future, and I certainly don’t need to store and maintain extra stuff just for the off-chance it will be used in 15-20 years.
I use these bins now in the meantime. When friends’ kids, nieces, or nephews come over with babies, I pull out age-appropriate toys for them too. It sounds kind of funny when I ask my husband to “pull out the Grandma bins” for me, but he knows what I’m talking about …
We keep them at the top of the coat closet. And true, there aren’t actually any coats in this closet. (We live in Texas now and everyone has room in their own closet for the rarely worn things.)
That funky thing folded up and stored with the Grandma bins in the top of our closet is our portable high chair. We had 2 of these with our baby twins. I kept one when they grew out of it. We’ve used this a million times for visiting family and dinner guests. Of course, it’s one of those things I keep because we use it often enough AND I have space to keep it. If either of those stopped being true, I’d have no problem getting rid of it …
Ruthless when I need to be, though sentimental by nature.
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