How to declutter when everything feels sentimental

The feelings and love will remain intact. We don't need to provide heirloom clothes and toys to feel this connection between the generations.

How to declutter when everything feels sentimental

Much like the love of a mother knows no bounds, neither does her collection of sentimental things. When raising a family, everything feels sentimental.

Time seems to slip through our fingertips and we desperately want to hold on for just a little longer.

But we can find a balance in our sentimental things. This means passing along our beloved stuff to those in need, and then creating an intentional space to preserve the most precious pieces.

If you are anything like me, between diaper changes and meal prep, you may have struggled to find the time to keep a written journal or record. Therefore we often cherish our things instead.

I fear that without this collection of things, I may not be able go back and taste every drop of sweetness and joy that these children have brought into my life. And according to Marie Kondo's rules—these items most definitely bring me joy.

So why would I let them go?

It's the outfit he was wearing when we brought him home from the hospital.

It's the first rattle she grasped.

We can't forget the bowtie he was wearing in his first birthday photos.

This list will continue to grow right along with our children.

But here's the thing.

I simply don't have a place to put all the stuff. And I also want my children to learn an important life lesson: that giving is better than saving. That means we can make the most of our things while we need them and then breathe new life into them by passing these items along to another family.

When we think towards the future, we often dream of passing these things on to the next generation of our own family. Yet if we are blessed with grandchildren...the smells, habits, and hugs of these small beings will undoubtedly bring us right back to the memories of our own children.

Those feelings and love will remain intact. We don't need to provide heirloom clothes and toys to feel this connection between the generations.

The items that your own children have outgrown are always better served in the hands of a new family than spending 30 years in a box in your basement.

Therefore, we have to let most of it go. Instead of saving it all, we can create an intentional space for a select number of heirlooms.

Rather than buying new bins and totes when one fills to the brim, we can limit the size of our collections by limiting the space that contains it.

For my own children, that means a Hope Chest.

Growing up, I distinctly remember my mother having a Hope Chest. If you aren't familiar with the tradition of a Hope Chest, it dates back thousands of years to the Egyptians. The chest was a space to keep the most precious belongings for a child in preparation for married life.

But instead of filling it with silverware and handkerchiefs, my own mother filled it with memories.

As tradition has it, parents would save and slowly fill these chests with essentials for their children. But here's the thing—that chest is only so big. All the things must fit inside of it.

When we have a designated space to collect our most sentimental possessions we are forced to cull this collection with great care and intention.

That means I am finding a way to fit 18 years worth of memories into one chest.

Over the years, this chest will be a way to revisit the past. Rather than storing away an overwhelming number of life's big moments in the back of my closet, the collection is smaller and more accessible.

I imagine my children visiting this chest often as they grow—and then gladly welcoming it into their own home once my time here on earth is complete.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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