It's so hard to part with your baby's first socks, the onesie they wore home from the hospital or their first pair of shoes, but it's even tougher to live with bags of their keepsakes stored in every nook and cranny of your place. As you embrace 2010 and start making New Year's resolutions for yourself and your family take some time to organize your children's old clothes, toys and books. You may have the urge to keep every washcloth, burper and pair of ballet slippers, but you have to let go of some things or risk running out of space to let your children run.

Here are a few purging tips that I use to help me choose what to lose.

  • Stow heirloom gifts and handmade items. Things that people took the time to make should be cherished.
  • Stow short-term items that you will need for another baby — receiving blankets, onesies, snapsuits.
  • Stow big ticket item toys like your swing, papasan chair, baby carrier and jumper.
  • Stow timeless, classic outfits that can be worn by siblings and/or future generations.

To see what else to stow and what to throw,


  • Stow a handful of sentimental items — the stuffed animal your child slept with, the first barrette that held her hair, the lil suit from his first photo shoot.
  • Stow books — kids love to read the same stories over and over.
  • Stow wooden toys — they are timeless.
  • Throw trendy clothing
  • Throw child specific clothing. If your daughter loved all things ladybugs, it doesn't mean your next lil girl will.
  • Throw multiples — if you have three identical toy boats, share the wealth with those in need.
  • Throw battery operated and talking toys that sporadically turn on while in storage.
  • Throw bedding if you plan on buying a different motif for each baby.

If you decide to let go of big ticket items consider setting up a swap event with friends, donating to charity, selling on Craigslist or unloading your items on a site like Googooswap. What do you store and what do you throw out the door?