To save or not to save …

By Published On: February 18th, 2015

Bea is getting so big. Really, you can even ask her. […]

McKinley_SoBig_2-18-15Bea is getting so big. Really, you can even ask her.
If you ask, “How big is Bea?”—then add, “She’s SO BIG,” she’ll throw her hands up over her head to show you just how ginormous (and brilliant) she has become in her 9-and-a-half glorious months on earth … even if she’s in the middle of devouring a bowl of beans, which hopefully explains why she has a mustache in this picture.
But, no beans about it, the only thing growing faster than Bea is her pile of discards. There becomes a point when we’ll eventually reach capacity—a time when we won’t be able cram another outgrown sock or swing into any of our overstuffed cubbies, cabinets or closets. I can’t help but wonder when this will happen. After her most recent growth spurt, I’m starting to think that time will come sooner rather than later.
Because Bea has been making her way through so many milestones lately, I’m feeling extra perplexed by our obnoxious first-world “stuff problem.” She’s officially too big for her bouncy seats and a small mountain of clothes, and our recent weaning experience meant packing up my pump, pillow and nursing attire. We’ve also tucked away our big high chair in favor of a smaller booster seat, and thanks to her lofty stature, the infant car seat has almost reached the end of the road—for her, anyway.
That brings me to my next thought: What do I save, and what do I ditch?
Right now, we’re hoarding everything, but as our house starts to shrink and Bea continues to grow, those second-hand stores and donation boxes are starting to look really appealing.
I already know the next question: “What if you have another baby?” And my answer (aside from pointing out that if we continue holing away everything we won’t have room for another baby) is that I don’t want our family planning to revolve around our stuff.
It makes a little sense to look ahead to Bea’s potential brothers or sisters—I mean, I’m certainly not going to toss the heirlooms and high-cost items—but it’s a lot of pressure to think about some of this gear’s useful life and try to factor that into our somewhat uncharted future.
As I pack things away, I wonder if it would be better to get rid of those teensy baby skinny jeans, the second-hand activity center and the big bassinet (that Bea never liked) today, when someone may still want them, or cram them in our attic and wait to see if another skinny-jean wearing, bassinet-loving baby saunters into our life a few years from now? I’m really not sure.
Anyway, I realize the ludicrousness of this whole debacle. It’s a silly concern to have, but one that’s been on my mind (and spilling into my hallway) nonetheless—and it’s something I know plagues other parents, too. So, I gotta ask … if you’re a stuff-saving parent, how do you decide what to hang on to for your future littles, and how do you keep it all organized? I’d love to know!