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When Did You Finally Get Rid of Your Baby Stuff?

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

As Preston approaches his 3rd birthday in two weeks(!), I’ve made it my summer project to clean out the third bedroom—a.k.a. our “office,” a.k.a. an homage to Preston’s baby-hood. It’s filled with bins and bins (and bins) of clothes, toys, strollers, car seats, car seat bases, car seat adaptors, bath seats, a Bumbo, boxes of diapers, tummy time mats, colorful tents, tunnels, blocks, crap—more stuff than one baby could/should ever need in his lifetime. Living in a condo with no storage area, we’ve had to turn the third bedroom into what would otherwise be our basement. Opening up that door is like opening a window into the first two years of Preston’s life. Or unlocking my anxiety due to the clutter.

After a miserable experience at Ikea last Saturday, trying to find new furniture for his toddler room, I spent Sunday cleaning out the third bedroom with my mom. I’m someone who procrastinates on projects like this, because when I finally embark on them I’m super compulsive about it. So what might take someone half a day, takes me an entire summer. I had to go through every last onesie to see what I should keep, what I should store, what should be tossed, or what should be donated or given away to friends. (I tossed three Carter’s onesies because they had poop stains on them, everything else is either being stored or given away.)

Not only have I kept his clothes in perfect shape—I mean, pristine—I have his bins marked appropriately by size: 0-3 months; 3-6 months; 6-12 months; 9-12 months; and two marked 18-24 months; and one just for jeans and khakis (18-24 months/2T). He has an ungodly amount of clothes and shoes, mostly because his clothes are combined with a friend’s hand-me-downs. Cutest stuff you’ve ever seen.

Why are we hoarding all this stuff, you might ask? Because I thought—hoped—I’d be using it for baby no. 2 by now. But holding onto it at this point feels pretty strange and unnecessary. While I’m not giving up on the idea of having another baby, this room has become a bit depressing, like I’m waiting for another baby—probably not the healthiest thing for me emotionally. Not to mention it’s taking up an entire room in our three-bedroom condo that I’d like to get back. The only reason I’d ever go into it now is to use our printer, or to hoard more stuff.

Going through everything was a sad reminder that he’s not a baby anymore. I know I digressed about this last week, but he turns three on August 29 so bear with me. I felt it was time to let go, both literally and figuratively, as much as it kills me to give all his stuff away and/or put it in storage. Stuff we may never see, or need, again.

Our third bedroom will become his toddler room, and then we’ll move his crib and glider out of his nursery, which we’ll also store (or maybe sell). While we have a lot of younger cousins who’ll be having kids in the next few years, and I want to keep all this stuff for them, there’s the superstitious part of me that thinks maybe hanging onto it is jinxing us. Maybe we should donate everything to people less fortunate, and get it out of our lives altogether.

When did you finally decide to move all the baby stuff out? What did you do with all of it? I get really nostalgic about silly things and have a hard time letting go when there are happy memories attached (um, like these shoes above, which I'm never getting rid of). Leave a comment.

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