The Downsizing Chronicles: Getting Rid of the Good Stuff

Over our previous moves, we got rid of a lot of stuff. What remained could be grouped into three categories:

Our Favorite Homeschooling Books

Our Favorite Toys

Our Favorite Mementos

Now, since we finished homeschooling our 18-year-old in June, you might be wondering why I kept so many homeschooling books. Well, for the same reason I wanted to keep the toys: for the grandchildren I may get someday.

Yep, I know it’s silly, but I just couldn’t let go of those things. Never mind that I don’t know if my grandchildren will be homeschooled. How can you get rid of Saxon 54? Or the Miller family series of Amish stories? Or the Holling Clancy Holling books?

Did I mention that books are heavy and take up lots of boxes?

Then there are the toys. For instance, every time I looked at the Little Tykes kitchen set, I remembered my eldest two children (then ages 3 and 2) excitedly watching the UPS man as he delivered the enormous box that contained their new kitchen set, which I had paid for with Huggies points. (Do they still have those?) How could I get rid of that?

As for the mementos, I find that I lose my memories unless I find items to trigger them. So it’s hard for me to give up the items because I’ll lose the memories. That explains why I kept little fuzzy sleepers and my kids’ favorite dolls and my son’s Sesame Street metal car collection (dang, those things are heavy!)

But we no longer have room for most of these treasures. And when I think about it, why should they sit in boxes and plastic containers when other children (children who exist right this moment, as opposed to my someday-grandchildren) could be getting use out of them?

That’s why we’ve been giving things away, and selling big things on Craig’s List, and just plain clearing most of it out. It is not easy. But I think it’s the right thing to do.

(Full disclosure: I didn’t get rid of all our best homeschooling books. I’m keeping the very best on our shelves, and that includes the Saxon 54, the Millers and the HCH books. But I’ve decided I’m not keeping books in boxes anymore. So I’m keeping what I can fit on the bookshelves, and the rest have to go!)

By the way, which of your homeschooling books are your favorites, the ones you’ll never let go of?