The other morning I walked into my kitchen preparing to make myself some hot tea. I opened my kitchen cabinet that houses my coffee mugs and to the far left are some old baby bottles, pacifiers, breastmilk storage bags, and sippy cups my son has outgrown. Usually, any morning, I would bypass them and proceed to grab the smiley face coffee mug to start my day. But on this day, I stared at them for a few until I finally asked myself, “Why are we keeping these?”
My son is now four years old, which means a few of these old baby items have been collecting dust in our cabinets for four years now. Seeing these old bottles and sippy cups made me take a deep look around our home realizing just how much of his baby stuff we kept around.
We have toys he no longer plays with. Clothes and shoes he has surely outgrown. The baby gear he no longer needs, and a heaping of other things that came in handy during the infant stages of our lives.
Looking at these items surely brings a lot of feelings
Maybe we kept them for sentimental reasons. I suppose we also kept them around in case we decided to have another little one. It would be far less expensive to have these items handy instead of repurchasing them. However, my husband and I haven’t discussed having another child any time soon. It’s not that we wouldn’t love the opportunity to give our son a little brother or sister. It’s just…it’s been four years and we still have no clue what to do with these items.
Could we really benefit from keeping these items to do nothing more but sit in the back of our cabinets and closets in boxes?
Getting rid of these items means more than cleaning the house. It’s removing memories. It’s coming to accept that my son is growing older. It’s making room for new things. With the holidays around the corner, we’d really be adding more to his already filled stack of toys and clothing.
It became easier to get rid of the old baby stuff when we accepted that there’s someone else who could use it more than we could.
I grabbed a big box and began sorting through items I felt were no longer needed. I added the pacifiers. I added the bottles. I added the storage bags, infant spoons, and those teeny thermometers. I grabbed another big box and stored the bibs and shopping cart cover.
There were some items I still had difficulty parting ways with. I still kept his rattle, blankie, and teddy bears. I kept the items that were just too personal to let go. But anything else, I sorted through what was appropriate to give away and stored in boxes.
While storing these items in boxes, I knew I didn’t want to just throw them out as they were mostly in good condition. I wanted to donate them or pass them down to a mother in need that could better benefit from these items.
It was initially difficult coming to terms that my family is in a new stage of our son’s life. And even though those baby items hold so much sentimental value, I feel even better knowing that a mother in need is able to use them instead of it collecting dust in my cabinets.