One of my three children is getting ready to take a new job that will more than likely take her to live in another country. She is in the sorting and deciding what is needed stage. One thing is pretty certain, once she moves; she won’t be living at home anymore. She is in her mid 20’s and is the daughter of a saver. My daughter on the other hand lives a simplistic life and does not want all of the ‘things’ that her mother saved for her for when she grew up. I saved what seems like ALL of her grade school work from art, to spelling tests, projects that she worked on and every report card! (Not to mention college textbooks that were not resold, and boxes of books from childhood.) Now that we are cleaning out the garage, who wants this ‘stuff’? “Not I” said the daughter with her thoughts on a small apartment somewhere exotic and fun. “Not I” said the mother and father who have their sights set on downsizing and cleaning out. So my husband and I have lugged around cartons of papers, art projects and such for 25 years that now no one wants! (and we have 3 children! So you can only imagine…) Parents, my tip to you is to save from each school year only what will fit into your child’s backpack from that school year. That means oversized posters and 3 dimensional projects don’t get saved! Then from time to time open the backpack and sort through it again with a new eye. Thank goodness for digital cameras. With your digital camera you (or your budding photographer) can take pictures of art work and school papers, save them to your computer and then when your child graduates from high school you can make a coffee table book of the 13 years of memories that you have saved on your computer. You can also send pictures of artwork, perfect (or not perfect) spelling tests, and other projects via the computer to relatives who live far away. What we are finding is that it appears that I saved everything. Now the papers are filled with dust mites and really, what was I thinking? Should you be a saver like I was, please decided carefully as to what will be saved and what will be tossed. I would recommend saving items that your child has done completely on his/her own, not papers that were generated from a copy machine at school and a few report cards. Writing is always fun to save as your child’s thoughts and emotions will change many times through the years and it is fun to look back. The years go by quickly and although it is nice to save special memories, choose wisely because chances are, your child will be like mine and the special items that you so carefully saved will have more meaning to you, than to your adult child.