First, good news: we picked a new realtor! Although we were very fond of our last one, we thought for various reasons that it was a good strategy to relist with a new person. So we are. And it was great to have the break from the house-selling, and now it's great to feel like we're going at it fresh again! When the for-sale sign first went into my frozen lawn last January it made me feel nervous, but eight months later we have a lot more clarity on the issue (as well as an additional human living here) and I'm going to celebrate when the new sign goes up!
In preparation for the (hopeful) showings we'll be having, I've been clearing out the spaces where Stuff collects around our house. A bag of toys is ready to go to Goodwill, and a great number of priceless works of art by the resident 4-year-old are being recycled. I can't feel bad about this, because if I kept all of her artwork we wouldn't have any room to live. She's very prolific, and her grandparents, father and I are supportive patrons. But we can't keep it all. No way. So I have a cubby where I stash art once she gives it to me, then periodically while she's out I go through it. The pieces that are really memorable--ones she worked on for a long time, are particularly original, or are representative of a stage of her art--I date and file in a large plastic paper organizer (marketed to scrapbookers for organizing their supplies) that I bought when she was a small baby. I have one for her and I recently bought another for Worth. Then I take those and several particularly nice other ones, scan them, and include those images in our family photo albums, ordered from Blurb.com. On the most recent album I ordered I devoted the first section just to her artwork and the text of my family-related status updates from Facebook. Since I'm one of those obnoxious people (sorry!) who thinks all my "friends" must surely be interested in the charming things my children do and say, I often use household episodes as status updates. To be sure that I don't share them with several hundred of my closest friends and then forget them altogether, I comb through my Facebook profile every few months and copy and paste the text of the updates into my photo album in progress. This seems to be working pretty well, and I don't have to be particularly organized about it but can catch up on it in a hurry as I have the chance.