Between home movies, school art projects, childhood books and all the other things worth holding on to, the average parent has amassed 1,293 keepsakes—so you don’t need to lament not doing more to preserve memories of your kids’ childhoods.
A new survey looked at parental sentimentality and examined all the things that moms and dads treasure—long after the chicks have flown from the nest.
Photographs make up the bulk of items that have been deemed worth saving, with moms and dads putting an average of 21 photographs of their children on display in the home.
Many keepsakes revolve around a child’s “firsts”; more than 6 in 10 parents surveyed have hair from their child’s first haircut, as well as baby teeth and ultrasound images.
The study of 2,000 American parents of school-aged children, commissioned by Canon U.S.A. and conducted by OnePoll, found that it can be hard to part with items of sentimental value.
The average household has five boxes of keepsakes, and six in 10 parents wish they had more of those items on display, instead of stashed under the bed.
For instance, children bring home an average of 47 art projects a year from elementary school, and parents report keeping 35 percent of them. If only those projects were in frames and not in the closet!
With all the keepsakes parents have amassed, half of them plan to make a scrapbook or place their printed photographs in a photo album.
Parents hold on to keepsakes for a variety of reasons, but 71 percent reported collecting them with the intent to show their children later in life. Many plan to eventually give the collected keepsakes to their child.
The items serve to remind parents of happy memories—and looking through the collected items can immediately make them feel proud of their children.
Maybe that’s why, even with all the keepsakes parents do have, 53 percent of those polled regret not having more.