I have been doing some Spring Cleaning lately and it has caused me to wonder why people save baby items for sentimental purposes. Truly, I wonder what the purpose of the preservation is: to inspire “awww” when you look at it again, to pass the legacy (stuff) to the next generation, or to have some artifacts handy should the child achieve greatness and the Smithsonian comes calling?

I was the first child/first grandchild and as a result there was a lot of saving going on. Want to see my hospital bracelet from when I was born? Got it. My first tooth? Sorry, trash pickup was this morning. My first earrings? My first drawing? My first (and second, third and fourth) pair of shoes? The bill from my hospital delivery? ($206 in case you were wondering!) I have, or should say, had it all. 

I also have this monstrous scrapbook with all the cards congratulating my parents on my birth, baptism and first birthday. What do I do with this thing? I have had it in and out of the wastebasket: on one hand, it seems fruitless to save, and on the other, it has been drug around the country for more than half a century so I guess I should keep it and let the siblings be the ones to toss it.

My advice is to routinely go through your “collection” with a discerning eye. Preserving some of the past is wonderful; holding on to too much of it is hoarding! The key is to toss insignificant things before they become too old and cause you to keep them just because of their age.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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