HELP!! I am off for the summer and I want or should I say need to go through the basement and get rid of toys now that my boys are 13 and 16. I have a very hard time with anything that is sentimental, I want to keep everything. I wonder if I am stuck in the past. I have never been any good at organizaing - big surprise there - Any suggestions?

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Wow....I know exactly how you feel!!! But I can tell you what I've done that has helped me!

I have three kids: 7, 4, and, in a way, their memories are still being made. BUT....this summer I dedicated a whole week to de-cluttering my house (my mom kept my kids for a week) so I had some major decisions to make on toys. First of all, none of my kids have a baby book or scrapbook. This is a sore spot for me b/c I feel like an awful Mother....BUT....I didn't have one either so i guess maybe that's why I never bothered. But also, being recently diagnosed...I naturally lacked the focus to begin and/or finish a baby book too. point to that rant is that I realized I had nothing for my children to go back to later in life for memories. So I realized I needed SOMETHING that would not require a whole lot of creativity or time or effort and would hold a decent amount of stuff. For now, I've chosen Banker boxes I found at Walmart and decorated them. As my kids get older I may have to move to a storage bin. So long as you have the room to store them somewhere out of the way like their closet or an attic....the storage bin would probably be better considering their ages and the amount of stuff you probably have to go through. But what I did with the box was make a memory box! In that box I've put sweet precious outfits they wore as a baby that I just couldn't part with and that maybe their kids could wear some day. I've also put special art work, pictures, etc.

Since your kids are older, you could choose only those toys that they couldn't live without as children. My little girl has a baby doll (probably the cheapest I ever bought her) that is just down right nasty and worn out. She doesn't play with it anymore, but she used to never go anywhere without it. To me, that's special enough to save! Try to look at your kids' toys that way. If you find yourself still not able to choose what can stay or go...or you find that your stay pile is still mighty big....maybe you could get your kids to help!!! My kids are too young for that - they'd want to keep it all! But hopefully your kids are old enough to know that everything can't stay and will be able to decide what's most important to them. Also....getting your kids in on the action would probably help them out anyway as far as having a lesson in organization!! That's something I wish my Mom had done for me when I was a kid - teach me to throw things away. And it's something I'm trying to teach my kids! I've decided that in order to maintain my efforts from this summer, I will be having my kids pick out some toys before Christmas and before each birthday to give away to the needy! That way, they'll have room for any new toys and it'll be teaching them about helping those in need. Of course, I have no more birthdays before Christmas and therefore four months to forget about it...but *fingers crossed* I will follow through with my plan!

I hope this made sense and also that it helps you!! Like I said, my kids are younger, but perhaps my idea might help you to come up with a similar idea that will fit your needs better!!!

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