I've been cleaning out ruthlessly. Clothes I don't like that much - gone. Christmas decorations that haven't been out of storage for years - gone. Sewing patterns I will never, ever use again - gone, gone, gone. A deeper cleaning than I've done in years. Storage areas that have been unexplored for some time, organized and neat. It feels good. But I realized there is one category of items that I can't part with easily.
I have some of my toys (Barbie dolls, a bride doll, toy dishes), and I miss some of the toys I didn't keep (my stuffed white cat, Frosty, and my Nancy Drew books). I have some of my mother's toys. I have my dad's all-time favorite toy, his sled. I have some of my grandmother's toys. I think I even have some of my great-grandmother's toys.
And, of course, I have toys that once belonged to people I'll never know. Apparently I collect doll-size roller skates (all of these from just the past few months ... isn't it amazing what you can accomplish even when you aren't trying?)
(Black velveteen cat, original owner unknown.) I went to a friend's yard sale this summer, and she was selling her son's Lego collection. I was amazed. You can do that kind of thing? Sell toys your children have outgrown? It was a foreign concept to me. And when it came time this week to decide - do I want storage space, or my children's toys? - I couldn't do it. I could not give away those toys. And boy, are they taking up space - storage tubs of wooden trains, Lego blocks, Playmobil figures, American Girl dolls. I would bet that two-thirds of the storage area in my attic is home to toys. They're all neat and organized and out of sight, but still - this is a small house. I could use that space.
This, however, might be my favorite toy of all: a tiny wall pocket, shaped like a cup. It's about the size of a half-dollar. I think it wants to be in a kitchen with red-checked wallpaper and a farmhouse sink.
Having confessed my inability to turn my back on any toy, I have to ask ... is there anything you just can't part with?