Author: Nina BowdlerClutter Family General Organizing organizing toys

Letting Go of the LEGOs

toy box pictureWith being a mother of three boys, it comes as no surprise that we have a toy box ‘filled to the brim’ with LEGOs. That’s right, every color, shape, and size ever put on the market from 1998 until 2010. I have over 12 years of memories concealed in this toy box. So, when my boys suggested that we ‘get rid’ of the LEGOs, I admit that my heart sank a little bit. Immediately, I thought of the countless hours my boys spent imagining, creating, and building their creations and my constant amazement how these little blocks could hold one’s attention for so long. The actual toy box was my husband’s from his childhood. This in and of itself is a family ‘heirloom.’ So, does it make sense to discard this ‘treasure trove’ that I hold so dear? You would think that as a Professional Organizer it would be a ‘no brainer’…not so much.

Do I purge on a regular basis? Yes. Although it comes naturally to me, I do try and live what I so often preach to my clients. “If it is no longer useful to you, why not bless someone with what you are no longer using?” Well, every now and then, sentimentality wins out. I am as sentimental as the next person and treasure certain items dearly. That being said, every item cannot and should not fall under this category. So, how does one choose?

First, you should ask yourself if the item holds good memories and brings you joy. If so, find a spot in your home to enjoy this treasure. Over the years, I have been gifted with many items from family, but have only kept what is useful to me. Take for instance your grandmother’s china. Maybe you have another set of fine china that appeals to you. If this is the case, donate or gift your grandmother’s set to someone else.

Second, take your storage space into consideration when deciding on what to keep. It does not take long for clutter to accumulate, and there is nothing worse than living in a cluttered environment. Also, if you can’t find the treasures when you want to use them, why hold onto them in the first place?

So, you’re probably wondering if I still have the white, wood toy box. The answer is yes! While my boys obviously don’t partake in building with LEGOs any longer, I have had on occasion, certain visitors who have enjoyed them. Also, it is located in our basement that was once our ‘toy room’ but has since been renamed the ‘workout’ room. Every now and then I get a glimpse of the toy box filled with LEGOs and my heart swells with wonderful memories of ‘years gone by.’

2 Responses

  1. I understand, I have a 13 year old son who still plays with his Lego, we have it contained to a tower with drawers. I once sorted all the Lego into different colours to make it easier to clean up afterward. It worked well for a few years, now he is old enough to sort it himself. I don’t think I will have to hold on to it, because I am pretty sure it will go with him whenever he moves out. LOL

  2. Bethany says:

    Well said Nina and as always great advice!

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