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S/O Minimal - what have you regretted purging?

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I’ve been inspired to purge based on the minimal mom post.  Some is easy.  I know we’ll never use it again kind of stuff.  But other stuff- sometimes I wonder if I’ll regret it.

what did you purge that you wished you kept?

what did you keep that you wished you purged?

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I accidentally purged part of the outfit DS wore home from the hospital. I was being rushed to empty a storage unit, and the little pants and jacket were in the bin. I still have the onesie and blanket, but I am really sad I no longer have the rest of it. 

I wish I had purged all the crap my in-laws gave us.  I am doing it now, and feel so much better without this junk hanging around. It is a never ending stream of stuff from them and it overwhelms me. 

Edited by MissLemon
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I purged letters and cards from my mom and my grandparents while they were still living.  I wish I'd kept some. 

 

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Last time I purged the kitchen I got rid of the Moka pot espresso thing for the stove. Later I got on a coffee kick and ended up buying a new one. Then realized the reason I'd gotten rid of the first one was that I don't like coffee from a Moka pot, lol!

So not sure that counts 🙂

 

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Stuff that had sentimental value.  I go through phases where I just want stuff gone, so I declutter ruthlessly, but I really regret some of the sentimental value items I’ve decluttered.  I gave away a figurine last year that a favorite aunt gave me years ago, and a couple days later she died.  I so wish I still had that.  I also regret giving in to DH wanting to declutter some things that had sentimental value, like certificates from my law enforcement days, a decorative tray my grandma gave us for a wedding gift (I never used it but it was pretty and I wish I’d hung on to it), and some award plaques from DD’s 3 years in a Christian school.  I can never replace any of that and it makes me sad.

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I remember wanting something and when I couldn't find it, I realized I had purged and was momentarily wishing I hadn't.  However,  since the memory of missing it sticks out more than the item that was missed, clearly it wasn't a terrible loss to purge it the first time. But I truly can't think of any specific items that I have missed.

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My desk. Growing up I had a medium size wooden desk, nothing fancy, but sturdy, 3 drawers on each side. It was my mom's when she was growing up. I kept it through college and the first 10 years of adulthood, moving it from here to there. Then I got married, we had to consolidate furniture, DH had a nice big desk, so we got rid of mine. Many times I wish I had it to give to my kids.

Have purged very little from their childhood - still have most artwork, games, books, nice toys. I plan to go through the artwork and purge, after photographing and making into a book. The rest? Hanging onto it as long as possible.

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That's my fear, is purging special/sentimental items then regretting it.  How do you store these items so that you have easy access when you want them and you aren't tempted to simply toss it all? I have a couple memory boxes jammed full of things, but need something that's both beautiful to look at and a practical size. 

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When I was a kid, probably like 12, 13 or so, my parents had a yard sale and I put my box set of Little House on the Prairie books.   Mom tried to talk me out of it, but I was so sure.  It was just a paperback set, not like some expensive bound set, and it was Little House on the Prairie, not something hard to find.   Well I regretted it as soon as it sold.  And when I started teaching my kids to read, I regretted it all over again.  I read that set over and over and over and over and over when I was young.

What I learned from that was to really think hard about when to get rid of something.

Having said that, I don't really get all that attached to stuff that much.  I dropped my wedding dress off at Goodwill when we moved here, and don't regret it in the least lol.  There have probably been a few practical things that I got rid of because I wasn't really using it, then almost immediately after, I needed it, like when I got rid of my rolling pin lol.   I just went and got a new one.  

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Oh - I did get rid of an odd sized baking dish a few days before thanksgiving, and then on thanksgiving wish for a few minutes I had kept it as it was the perfect size for the sweet potato casserole. But then I found a square 9x9 pan that we use for brownies and put them in there and that worked just fine. Not as pretty perhaps as the glass dish I'd gotten rid of, but way easier to store and it served the purpose. 

Sentimental stuff...nothing I've missed. Usually I realize that the reason I'm holding on to it is for the memories...but the memories are not IN the item. They are in my brain, and I'm unlikely to purge my brain. I can still have the memories without the item. 

One idea I've seen to remember things that are sentimental but you never use or have out is to take photos and make an album - oe of those photo books from shutterfly or whatever with captions where you explain the significance of the item, what you love about it, etc. So you could have one just of items from your childhood, or "favorite things" or whatever. Easy to have out on a coffee table or put on a bookshelf in the main living area where you can look at it whenever you like but not taking up the space that the actual items do. 

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Nothing so far. I don't tend to be attached to items that much.

My wedding dress, which is usually considered a sentimental item, is still hanging in a closet at my mom's--only because I think my daughter would like to see it. If I ever remember to show it to her, I'll probably purge it after that.

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For me, it is teaching supplies. I have, on multiple occasions, built up a classroom or a good supply, only to give it all away upon leaving that position, to, a year or two later, end up needing to rebuild. The same thing happened with homeschooling, where I passed on all my math manipulatives, etc, and then ended up buying them for tutoring. Currently about half my Christmas wish list is stuff I want to use in teaching, and I think I have spent most of the money I've made over the last two years since I went back to teaching music rebuilding my instrumentarium. 

Edited by dmmetler
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10 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

For me, it is teaching supplies. I have, on multiple occasions, built up a classroom or a good supply, only to give it all away upon leaving that position, to, a year or two later, end up needing to rebuild. The same thing happened with homeschooling, where I passed on all my math manipulatives, etc, and then ended up buying them for tutoring. Currently about half my Christmas wish list is stuff I want to use in teaching, and I think I have spent most of the money I've made over the last two years since I went back to teaching music rebuilding my instrumentarium. 

You were a dear to give them away! I'm not giving up my math manipulatives - ever. Not even sure my own dc can have them. 😂  The books could go, if absolutely necessary, but my touchy-feely stuff is too fun to give up. I could definitely replace them, though, so if there was a disaster all would not be lost. 

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I got rid of some books, twice, that I wish I'd kept. (On the other hand, I probably need to purge more books.) Actually, the reason I wish I'd kept some of them is that my niece is now being homeschooled, and I wish I could have sent her a couple of books that were not common but really helpful to us; however, I knew we were through, so...

The other thing is that I got rid of my old plan books, most of which were fine, but some of those younger years--I think it would have been helpful for my kids. And would also show them how much effort I put into their homeschooling, lol! I even impressed myself when I was looking through them, haha.

I have had to purge belongings that I regret, but had no choice in because of international moves. Those include furniture I had finished and a nice oak dining set, some shelves bil made for us, books, and the hardest, a very nice piano. I would love to have all of those, but we couldn't move and/or store, and they all got nice homes.

When we moved to our present location, I finished up a lot of purging. I still have a couple of boxes of papers, mostly including letters, that I need to go through. Some I want to keep and some I want to throw away, but the sorting is time consuming. And there is a trunk of photos, which I don't know what to do with. I have a set of china (we were given as wedding gifts) that I can't quite bring myself to get rid of, but it is not something I would choose now, and I don't use it. I have a nice set of everyday dishes that we use all the time, and I much prefer those. Maybe I can bring myself to get rid of the china for our next move...

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My big crock pot. I never loved my latst one because of how high the cooking temps were, but there have been times I've wished for it back to keep food for a crowd warm. 

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A boxful of notes from my friends and boyfriends in high school. We passed notes endlessly and they were full of emotion and creativity. I know I'd love to go through them again as I have reconnected with many of these nice people through FB and reunions.. I would even show them to my daughter if I had them to demonstrate that everyone (even her dull old mother & friends) goes through the high school drama and angst and explain that it does get better as you grow up (dullness is your friend!). 

A round, oak dining room table and chairs that was not my grandmother's (my aunt has that one) but looked exactly like my grandmother's and which I received for free from someone else ruthlessly decluttering. I have, for the first time, an eat-in-kitchen as well as a dining room and it would have looked perfect there (much better than the empty space that has been "decorating" it for a year). 

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Nothing.
But that’s probably because I should be purging more.  When I get to something I’m unsure about, I keep it and move on to easier stuff.

I do regret not packing up some things better.  I’ve lost a few special items to carelessness.

There have been some things I’ve let go that I thought I’d struggle with afterward, but I’m fine!

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The only practical thing that I've ever regretted has been costume stuff. Like, it builds up and I dump it... but then, I swear, Halloween will roll around and we'll want to do something and I'll be like, oh, I have that long black skirt... only to go to my closet and realize I dumped it. D'oh. So now I try to set things like that aside, honestly. I know that's a weird one, but.

I save sentimental things, but never that much. I always feel like when I have a small selection, that I'm good.

I have a couple of times realized I purged a book that we later needed, but I don't regret it because if we need it, we'll just buy it or get it from the library. No big.

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I get on kicks where I declutter pretty ruthlessly and I have rid myself of things sometimes that I wish I had kept. In most cases, it’s mild like, “Darn. I wish I had that book still because I know it had a part in there about ———- topic and I want to read it again.” In a few cases, it’s more severe of a regret because it was irreplaceable. Now, I am less likely to get rid of something if it is irreplaceable, especially handcrafted things my mother or father made. 

Once, I had a food dehydrator dh and I bought, but we did not use it once in like six years, so I got rid of it. But then when we started gardening more, I wished we still had it. Now every growing season I think that a couple of times, lol. 

Some categories, I don’t think I have ever regretted decluttering, like kids toys, curriculum, clothes, trophies, novels. A couple of times I re-bought curriculum I had decluttered, but even then, I didn’t much regret it because most times there’s a newer version. 

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I haven't had any serious regrets over sentimental items. If I really want to remember it I take a photo. If I really can't part with it I don't. For the most part though I toss nearly everything when purging and I haven't been sorry.

The one time I was sorry it was an easily replaceable item and it wasn't during a declutter/purge. When I first bought my Instant Pot I thought I wouldn't need a crock pot anymore so I gave mine to my adult niece. I later realized the IP isn't at its best as a slow cooker and bought another one. The new one is more up to date anyway and I got it on sale so it wasn't a big deal. 

I grew up with a mother who though not a hoarder, was close. She kept so many "sentimental" items that they more or less lost their sentimental value and just became junk. She also saved a lot of things  because"I might need it someday". I"m sure being a child of poor immigrant's kids (all 4 of her grandparents came from Italy in the late 19th century), during the depression contributed to her being that way. For me growing up though, I saw clutter I never wanted in my own house and though I do accumulate clutter, I'm good about recognizing it and making time to get rid of things I know aren't worth saving. And if I wasn't fully on board, cleaning out her house after she died cured me of any remaining doubts about saving things. I don't want ds to go through what my brother and I had to deal with. 

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A couple of years ago, I got rid of my entire yarn stash, plus all my knitting needles (dozens) and accessories. Everything. 

Granted, I'd not used them in years, but I still kind of regret it. 

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I've regretted many, many book purges. Some I have been able to repurchase, some not (out of print or too expensive). 

A few kitchen items. I had a clay cooking pot that just seemed not worth the bother of packing for a move. Wish I'd kept that. Also cookie press, rosette iron... things I didn't use a lot and seemed not worth keeping around. But once the kids were older I think we would have had fun with them.  All of these things are replaceable, but I really don't have the $$ to spend on unnecessary items right now, so... 

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I've done a few toy purges through the years of things the kids had lost interest in. Now I wish I had kept them so I could slap a bow on them and regift them to younger siblings for their birthdays. That's allowed, right? If they don't remember or weren't around yet for the toy the first time around?

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The bins of cute kids’ clothes, organized by size and gender.  I always planned on having a big family—I wanted 8 or maybe 10 kids, so I had everything in good condition saved and ready.  A few years after learning it would not be safe to go through another pregnancy, I finally got rid of it all, telling myself that if we were eventually able to afford adopting, I would have an excuse to buy new cute little things.  However, now that I’m foster parenting, I really regret all those cute, organized, ready-to-go things.  Buying a wardrobe for a new little one is a awful.  Not only is it really expensive to suddenly buy a complete wardrobe, and the stores sell clothes half a season ahead of the weather so you can’t buy summer clothes and swimsuits in late August when it’s still 95 degrees out, and you can’t plan ahead and get things on sale that will fit them at a later time because you don’t know how long you will have them—but it’s a really hard time to go out shopping with a little one whose world has just been turned upside down and who is not in the mood to handle being out in public well.  Throw in the strangers pointedly glaring at you for the misbehaving toddler while you’re blocking the kicks they’re aiming at another kid and getting slapped in the face, and it is truly a nightmare.

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17 hours ago, MissLemon said:

I accidentally purged part of the outfit DS wore home from the hospital. I was being rushed to empty a storage unit, and the little pants and jacket were in the bin. I still have the onesie and blanket, but I am really sad I no longer have the rest of it. 

I wish I had purged all the crap my in-laws gave us.  I am doing it now, and feel so much better without this junk hanging around. It is a never ending stream of stuff from them and it overwhelms me. 

 

I have purged A LOT and all I really have missed is, like Miss Lemon, one adorable little outfit from when my oldest girl was a toddler, and one or two skirts/dresses that I didn’t think I’d get back into. And my teen says I should have kept my 80’s wardrobe items ‘cause they’d be totally on fleek today. 😂

We have also been recipients of stuff from the extended family. I appreciate the thoughtfulness, but I don’t appreciate the having to hold it for an acceptable length of time before disposing of it myself. I’ve gotten really good the last decade about saying no to items offered. 

Seriously, I am much happier having tossed than I would have been if I were still surrounded by all that I’ve purged, fretting over whether or not to let it go. There’s some real truth to the saying, outta sight is outta mind. 

Edited by Seasider too
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39 minutes ago, Michelle Conde said:

The bins of cute kids’ clothes, organized by size and gender.  I always planned on having a big family—I wanted 8 or maybe 10 kids, so I had everything in good condition saved and ready.  A few years after learning it would not be safe to go through another pregnancy, I finally got rid of it all, telling myself that if we were eventually able to afford adopting, I would have an excuse to buy new cute little things.  However, now that I’m foster parenting, I really regret all those cute, organized, ready-to-go things.  Buying a wardrobe for a new little one is a awful.  Not only is it really expensive to suddenly buy a complete wardrobe, and the stores sell clothes half a season ahead of the weather so you can’t buy summer clothes and swimsuits in late August when it’s still 95 degrees out, and you can’t plan ahead and get things on sale that will fit them at a later time because you don’t know how long you will have them—but it’s a really hard time to go out shopping with a little one whose world has just been turned upside down and who is not in the mood to handle being out in public well.  Throw in the strangers pointedly glaring at you for the misbehaving toddler while you’re blocking the kicks they’re aiming at another kid and getting slapped in the face, and it is truly a nightmare.

Two hour pickup orders (where Target delivers to your car) are a lifesaver.

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17 hours ago, caedmyn said:

Stuff that had sentimental value.  I go through phases where I just want stuff gone, so I declutter ruthlessly, but I really regret some of the sentimental value items I’ve decluttered.  I gave away a figurine last year that a favorite aunt gave me years ago, and a couple days later she died.  I so wish I still had that.  I also regret giving in to DH wanting to declutter some things that had sentimental value, like certificates from my law enforcement days, a decorative tray my grandma gave us for a wedding gift (I never used it but it was pretty and I wish I’d hung on to it), and some award plaques from DD’s 3 years in a Christian school.  I can never replace any of that and it makes me sad.

 

I have a large bin for each child. I have told myself that’s all the space I’ll allot for keepsakes of each. Theoretically, if it comes to it, I’ll replace items based on what holds the most sentimental value. Haven’t had to do that yet. Anyway, a bin or two can be good temporary holding for smaller items you’re unsure about. 

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So no one has yet regretted getting rid of toys they wished they saved for grandkids?  Which toys if so?  Have some stuff I’m on the fence about- Thomas trains, Polly pockets, My Pretty Pony, barbies and clothes, little people figures, and Rescue Heroes.  Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, MissLemon said:

Apparently, I purged my pie plates.  I just went looking for them and they are no where to be found!  

 

For stuff like this the first place I’d look is my grown kids’ apartment kitchens!😂

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4 minutes ago, matrips said:

So no one has yet regretted getting rid of toys they wished they saved for grandkids?  Which toys if so?  Have some stuff I’m on the fence about- Thomas trains, Polly pockets, My Pretty Pony, barbies and clothes, little people figures, and Rescue Heroes.  Thoughts?

 

Oh yeah. I wish I’d saved the playmobil (yea I know, I should have known better than to part with that).

I did save a gazillion legos and hot wheels cars. And the kids pointed out their most favorite books to put on the keeper shelf. 

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6 minutes ago, matrips said:

So no one has yet regretted getting rid of toys they wished they saved for grandkids?  Which toys if so?  Have some stuff I’m on the fence about- Thomas trains, Polly pockets, My Pretty Pony, barbies and clothes, little people figures, and Rescue Heroes.  Thoughts?

I don't see those things as mine ton either keep or get rid of, at least not the good stuff. Ds has  chosen to save his Thomas trains and his huge collection of Lego. I told him I think he made a good choice.

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14 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Two hour pickup orders (where Target delivers to your car) are a lifesaver.

 

This sounds like a great idea, once I know the kid’s sizes.  Maybe next time a quicker trip in to figure out sizes and just grab something for the first day or two, then order the rest online and pick up later?  We don’t have a Target here, but I think Walmart has something similar.

Thanks!

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I accidentally threw out the newspaper that had my grandmother's funeral notice in it.  It just didn't register, what it was, when I was on a recycling role.  That's the only thing I can think of.

I wish I had not donated the Silver Palate cookbook when I thought I was going to eat low fat for the rest of my life, because I ended up not doing so.  There are a couple of recipes in it that I really liked, but not enough to buy it back again.  That's not sentimental, but more utilitarian.

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I posted a list of things I wish I had, but I am also thankful for all the moves that made me get rid of things I would have held onto otherwise. Probably even some of the things I occasionally wish I still had, lol. I look at my siblings' homes and all the junk (imho) they have cluttering everything, and I am so thankful to have had that tendency (mostly) trained out of me. I am genetically inclined to hold onto things I don't really need. I am determined to not let stuff take over now that we are back in the U.S. and probably won't move again until retirement. My parents' home had loads and loads of stuff in it that had to be gone through. It's just too emotionally and physically exhausting to do that. Thankfully, my mother was willing to move and downsize, so that didn't have to be done quickly at a time of death. I think she is happier not having to worry about all that stuff as well. Some (most) of my family members are terribly sentimental. I have had to learn that I can feel sentimental about something without having to keep it. I can really like and enjoy something without having to buy it and have it in my home. And I can refuse something that someone else's sentimentality prods me to keep. 

Now I'm thinking about that china again, and whether I should go ahead and pass it on to someone...

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15 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Oh yeah. I wish I’d saved the playmobil (yea I know, I should have known better than to part with that).

I did save a gazillion legos and hot wheels cars. And the kids pointed out their most favorite books to put on the keeper shelf. 

 

22 minutes ago, matrips said:

So no one has yet regretted getting rid of toys they wished they saved for grandkids?  Which toys if so?  Have some stuff I’m on the fence about- Thomas trains, Polly pockets, My Pretty Pony, barbies and clothes, little people figures, and Rescue Heroes.  Thoughts?

Ok, so do people really have that much storage space to keep toys for a decade or whatever, unused? For my space right now, there is just no way I'd even consider holding on to say, legos, which I may or may not want to have my grandkids that I may or may not have play with in an unknown number of years from now. Not when there is a decent chance those grandkids might not like legos, or want particular building sets that are en vogue then, etc. And if they don't want it, and i held it unused for a decade, there could have been other kids playing with it during that time, getting enjoyment out of it, instead of it sitting unused in a box in an attic. 

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8 minutes ago, Michelle Conde said:

 

This sounds like a great idea, once I know the kid’s sizes.  Maybe next time a quicker trip in to figure out sizes and just grab something for the first day or two, then order the rest online and pick up later?  We don’t have a Target here, but I think Walmart has something similar.

Thanks!

Does your area have an emergency bank of clothing for fosters? Our last three areas have, and you could check out totes of clothes. 

Or, put out the word among friends and playgroups that your would love hand me downs while you are building a clothing stash.

The other thing I would recommend is getting one of those $20 brannock devices so you can measure for shoes from at home. 

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We kept one small (large shoebox) size of toys for grandkids...a few wooden trains, a wooden stacker toy, and a few other nice things meant to spark play. We will probably keep a shoebox of playmobil as well and a box of legos. So, three boxes that will take a 6” width on a shelf in a closet in the guest room. We have enough for an afternoon of play but not a daycare. I make no assumptions that my grandchildren will live nearby. 

Besides, part of the joy of grandparenting is going to the store to pick out a new treasure to play with together, I hear. 

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39 minutes ago, matrips said:

So no one has yet regretted getting rid of toys they wished they saved for grandkids?  Which toys if so?  Have some stuff I’m on the fence about- Thomas trains, Polly pockets, My Pretty Pony, barbies and clothes, little people figures, and Rescue Heroes.  Thoughts?

 

Well, my dd was sad after she gave away her Polly Pockets so keep those. 😏

I regretted donating the Fisher Price nativity so I bought myself a new one. It has been in my shed for several years, so it's heading out to be donated this year.

Edited by Jaz
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For grandkids, I kept only the most used toys. That means primarily wooden blocks and legos. We have tons of legos that our grandkids are presently too young for. We may eventually get rid of them, but right now, we have room for the plastic boxes we use for storing them, and will hold on to them. Then we have a ball and a couple of toys we were given, and children's books, as well. I would have a hard time not buying more new things to keep on hand, but our grandbabies are far away, so I have a spot in a bathroom closet where I store the toys for younger kids. I pull them out when they come, or when we have young guests.

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28 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Does your area have an emergency bank of clothing for fosters? Our last three areas have, and you could check out totes of clothes. 

Or, put out the word among friends and playgroups that your would love hand me downs while you are building a clothing stash.

The other thing I would recommend is getting one of those $20 brannock devices so you can measure for shoes from at home. 

 

No.  Apparently we used to have that, but they had problems with bedbugs getting into the waiting clothes.  

Those are some good ideas.

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39 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Ok, so do people really have that much storage space to keep toys for a decade or whatever, unused? For my space right now, there is just no way I'd even consider holding on to say, legos, which I may or may not want to have my grandkids that I may or may not have play with in an unknown number of years from now. Not when there is a decent chance those grandkids might not like legos, or want particular building sets that are en vogue then, etc. And if they don't want it, and i held it unused for a decade, there could have been other kids playing with it during that time, getting enjoyment out of it, instead of it sitting unused in a box in an attic. 

We have an attic, and it’s just a few bins. So the space isn’t a big deal.   My mom kept a bunch of our old toys and books and my kids loved them!  Maybe because they were different than the current stuff or just special because it was mine or at Grandma’s.  Uh oh, I think I’m talking myself into keeping them 😳😂

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24 minutes ago, matrips said:

We have an attic, and it’s just a few bins. So the space isn’t a big deal.   My mom kept a bunch of our old toys and books and my kids loved them!  Maybe because they were different than the current stuff or just special because it was mine or at Grandma’s.  Uh oh, I think I’m talking myself into keeping them 😳😂

My kids love the old toys at my parents' house!  

I'll keep a few things (I have a great wooden block set I'll keep)...but I'm already thinking we should get rid of the Calico Critter collection. (But they're SO Cute!!)

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Ok, so do people really have that much storage space to keep toys for a decade or whatever, unused? For my space right now, there is just no way I'd even consider holding on to say, legos, which I may or may not want to have my grandkids that I may or may not have play with in an unknown number of years from now. Not when there is a decent chance those grandkids might not like legos, or want particular building sets that are en vogue then, etc. And if they don't want it, and i held it unused for a decade, there could have been other kids playing with it during that time, getting enjoyment out of it, instead of it sitting unused in a box in an attic. 

 

I don't have that kind of storage space and I am not saving very many toys.  It never occurred to me to save kiddo's toys for theoretical grandchildren. 

I had my one and only child at age 35.  If he does the same, that means I'd have to hold onto those legos for 35+ years. I know how I feel when my MIL shows up with yet another box of treasures from my husband's childhood, and I won't do that to my future daughter-in-law.  I have a few things I've saved that meant a lot to *me*.  If kiddo wants those toys and books for his kids one day, I'll hand them over, but I also understand if he says "Mom, what in the world am I going to do with these stuffed Caillou dolls? My kids don't know who Caillou is".   

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I once got rid of my Nordic Track ski machine because it wouldn't fit into the place we were moving.  When I was in a place I had room for one and wanted it again I prayed to find one.  A few days later my neighbor said she found hers way too hard and she preferred running.  She offered it to me for free.  I still have it, more than a decade later.  I don't even know if they still make them.

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