How to Store Your Child's Treasured Items
Sort it: Start by deciding what you want to save, which is a process in itself. Before sticking that painting in a box, be sure you want to spend the time, energy and money to save something long term, says Pamela Macleod, president of Organized From A to Z in Englewood, N.J. She tells ParentDish that parents should ask themselves tough questions: Do you really need to save every piece of artwork from kindergarten? Could someone else wear your daughter's beloved holiday dress?
Store it: Next, consider the amount of space you have to store things long term.
"Consider the elements," Olescia Hanson,spokesperson for The Container Store, tells ParentDish. "The garage, attic or basement -- you do not want that because of temperature variations and moisture."
Be sure you have sturdy, acid-free archival boxes. The boxes are strong enough to withstand years of protecting and stacking on a closet shelf. Wrap each item in a separate piece of acid-free tissue paper and place it in a box without crowding.
Make sure clothing is clean and stored separately from shoes or boots. Be sure to pack shoes or boots with clean packing material or even plastic shopping bags to preserve their shape, Macleod suggests. For the most sentimental clothing, like christening gowns or a Bar-Miztvah suit, consider having your dry cleaner preserve them to prevent yellowing.
Label it: Don't forget to label the boxes with something like "Claire's artwork, age 6" or "Brandon's baseball uniform, size 5-6." Macleod says parents are often amazed how quickly they forget what's inside different boxes.
There are options for the space-squeezed, too. Consider taking a digital picture of your kindergartner's favorite artwork. Have your child hold it and smile. Then you can frame it, no storage required.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.