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Holding On to Memories: A Parent's Emotional Struggle to Donate Kids' Toys

A mother who struggles to part with her children's toys seeks advice on overcoming emotional attachment and decluttering effectively.

Hey MJ,

I'm finding myself in a bit of a pickle and could use some advice. I need to clean out my kids' closet, but I'm facing an unexpected emotional hurdle. I'm irrationally attached to some of their toys. A few years back, I managed to donate over 100 of my own childhood stuffed animals, but now that I have kids, the task of parting with their toys seems so much harder.


Every time I try to tackle the closet with a donation bag in hand, I get overwhelmed with emotions. I know it's important to declutter and that these toys could bring joy to other children, but I can't seem to let go. Any tips on how to overcome this emotional attachment and make the process a bit easier?


Thank you for any help you can provide.


Best,

Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,

Letting go of your children's toys, which are often intertwined with cherished memories, can be an emotionally challenging task. However, there are practical strategies you can employ to make this process of decluttering more manageable and fulfilling.


Begin with a manageable approach. Instead of attempting to tackle the entire closet at once, start by sorting through a small section or selecting a few toys that you feel are easier to part with. This incremental process can help you gradually adjust to the idea of decluttering without overwhelming emotions.


Taking photographs of the toys can be a comforting way to preserve the memories associated with them. You can create a digital album or even a physical scrapbook that includes these photos, along with any special stories or memories linked to the toys. This allows you to keep the memories alive in a more space-efficient way.


Involve your children in the decision-making process. Encourage them to choose toys they no longer use or feel ready to give to other children. This not only helps with the decluttering process but also instills values of generosity and empathy in your children.


Setting a clear and meaningful purpose for the decluttering can also provide motivation. Whether it's to make room for new interests, to simplify your home, or to donate to children in need, having a goal can keep you focused and emotionally grounded during the process.


Consider the joy these toys will bring to other children. Knowing that the toys you donate will be cherished and enjoyed by others can be a source of comfort and satisfaction. You're not just getting rid of items; you're extending their life and sharing happiness.


Decluttering is as much an emotional journey as it is a physical one. Allow yourself to feel and process these emotions, and take the time you need. By approaching this task with kindness and patience, you'll find a balance between cherishing memories and embracing the benefits of a decluttered space.


Kenbe la,

MJ

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In 2020, the "Badass Black Girl" book series author M.J. Fievre began receiving correspondence from a varied audience, including parents, young adults, and teens. Fievre, an established author and speaker, is known for her insightful engagement with themes relevant to these demographics. The communication, primarily through Facebook or the Badass Black Girl inbox, revolves around topics covered in her books and public talks. These interactions display a rich tapestry of experiences and viewpoints, highlighting the author's impact on her readers.


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