Trophies... and more trophies

Julie_MI_Z5December 13, 2005

Here's the deal.

My boys have played multiple sports for years and years. The first trophy was cute, the 97th trophy was not so cute. Most are currently jammed on the bottom shelf of my dining room hutch, or on the upper shelves, or throughout the house... and I'm tired of dusting them. And I've got medals jumbled up in clear plastic boxes, too.

Would it make me a "bad mother" to box them up in separate boxes for each kid and put them in the attic??

There are places who would take donated trophies to make new ones out of them, but I know the kids aren't ready to give them up.

So can I at least store them out of sight without guilt??


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I have two daughters girls (now ages 16 and 17) who always did sports and activities. They each got a trophy every single year just for being on the girls softball team, one even got a trophy for perfect attendance at her dance class! One day I noticed some trophies in the trash. One girl was cleaning her room and decided to throw hers away! I rescued them, put them in a box in the attic. No doubt, one day when they are grown I will chuck them all out/ the trophies/not the girls!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 8:56AM
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One girl was cleaning her room and decided to throw hers away! I rescued them, put them in a box in the attic.

Jannie!! Throw them out! Hooray for your daughter, to recognize that she was DONE with them, and to get them out of her space at once.

Why *are* you saving them? Do you think she'll care about them later? She sure doesn't care about them now. Honor her wishes--take them for recycling, or toss 'em (my vote, toss them).

And getting a trophy just for showing up annoys me. My kids like theirs, so I guess it's ok, but they're not getting tons. If they did, I'd be REALLY grumpy.

I wish they'd go back to letters and pins--they don't take up as much space.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 11:01AM
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Tally Sue- you are SO right! Yes, she obviously doesn't need the trophies anymore. She has the memories of the fun she had back then,she doesn't need to hang onto those plastic statues. She gave me permission to LET GO of them. I will honor her wishes and get rid of them NOW. I am going up into the attic today to retrieve some Christmas decorations, and that box of trophies will GO OUT!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 12:26PM
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Having athletes in the family and a youth organization that has won numerous champions, I know what a problem this is. We don't keep "participation" trophies any longer only the significant ones (World Cup, National Championships). We take the plaques off the lesser trophies and have them mounted and framed (perhaps 5-10 per frame) then hang the frame and recycle the trophies to youth organizations.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tampa Mustangs

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 1:44PM
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If you don't want to relegate them to the attic or trash, I think if you did a shelf that ran the perimeter of a bedroom, about 20 inches below the ceiling, it would make a great "border" and would free up the space they are taking now. This could also look great in a den or family room.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 2:37PM
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Have a trophy night! See the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Trophy night!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 10:41PM
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I had saved all my son's trophies. A few years back, I had boxed them up and wanted him to take them all. He refused. I still have that box but think it's time to throw them out. Of course, that will be after one more e-mail asking him if he's sure.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 10:58PM
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One of my boys loves his trophies, so he has a shelf in his bedroom for them. My other son told me he didn't want them, so I boxed them up and put them in the attic.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 1:02AM
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How comforting to know I'm not the only one with this problem--and nobody called me a bad mom for wanting to put them in the attic! I'm going to start now collecting bubble wrap, dust them once more, and box them up.

To anyone thinking of the ceiling-shelf idea, the tallest trophy I could easily get to this morning was 22 inches.

THANK YOU for the moral support!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 5:51AM
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OK, this stopped me:
dust them once more

How much more work are these unwanted things going to be before they eventually leave your house for good?

Bcs they're going to--your kids don't want them.

So now you're going to go through all that work, just to hold onto stuff for a little while until you throw it out. Not until you use them again, not until the kids get their own place and ask for them. JUST until you throw them away.

Nothing else will happen to them, I guarantee you.

Oh, the box will get moved around a few times (more work, negative value). And one day you'll open it up to see what's in it and feel silly that you've kept them and guilty that you don't value them (more work, negative value). And you'll call your kids to make sure you can toss them (duplicate work; mildly positive to negative value, depending on how the conversation goes and whether THEY now feel guilty).

And for what? Just so you don't have to make the tough decision now?

Talk about delegating to the Future You!!

I am SO wishing for less stuff. I have all this stuff in my home that never gets TOUCHED. I can't stand the idea that you guys would, too.*some*body's gotta have a more decluttered home.

I have this theory: unwanted objects are evil. They drop little pieces of evil into your lives every day. They steal time (bcs you have to move them & clean them), they poison your soul with unnecessary guilt and frustration, they create discord in your energy bcs you trip over them, etc. These trophies are a perfect example of that.


Get them out of your house, before they do *more* evil things to you.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 10:43AM
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I also have kids who also play sports (and collect the trophies for having participated). When they periodically go through and throw things out, I just leave them in the trash. Really, if they don't want them now, will they really ever? We save the few that mean something, and they keep any they want in their rooms, and the rest are out when we have too many. They really lose meaning if you've got too many. Could you just save a few if you feel guilty about getting rid of them? It's kind of like kids papers - I really don't want to save every one, just the ones that mean something. And I actually look at the ones I have if there are just a few.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 12:59PM
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Talley Sue, you just described what I've done with trophies and so many other items. It's taken me many, many years but this year for some reason, I've finally taken control of the items instead of them taking control of me.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 1:40PM
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Talley Sue, I do, I do have an uncluttered home.

I really feel that unless you have three or four kids sharing a room, personal stuff should not exceed personal space. If these trophies were important to the child, the child would make room for them. Shoved in the bottom of a dining room hutch doesn't say they are important. In the attic doesn't say they are important.

I'm all for using the attic for holiday decorations or things like camping gear, but for personal items like trophies, if the owner of the trophy doesn't want to devote space to that item, it should be gone.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 3:32PM
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My boys WANT them, and they worked hard for them. I'm just tired of dusting and feel bad for not appropriately appreciating their years of effort. Putting them in their rooms is out of the question; the rooms are small and the trophies would cover every flat surface and we'd have to install additional shelving. I get claustrophobic thinking about it.

It was *me* that shoved the older trophies under the hutch, because I got tired of having them on every single horizontal surface of the house.

This is what happens when a non-athlete mom marries an athlete dad and has athlete children. LOL It was years before I got DH's old trophies packed up and out of sight. It was his dream to turn one wall of the basement into a huge trophy case... fortunately he's big on dreaming and slow to action. I gave him a couple years, then packed them up.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 8:21PM
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My kids are past the trophie stage, but when they were finished with theirs we donated them to the Special Olympics. They love to get them, re-do them then give them out at the local games.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 4:11PM
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Hello everyone,

I own an awards company out of the Chicagoland area and would be interested in recycling any and all awards, trophies, medals, plaques and awards that you might have. We have just started this new business due to the increased need and untapped opportunity. We have been repeatedly asked by many individuals what they can do with their trophies, medals, plaques and awards. Before we had no ability to handle this influx of items but an ephihany happened not to long ago to myself in which I thought there would be many deserving people out there who could not afford to provide these types of awards for special people. Furthermore, I would like to see less garbage being dumped in our depleted garbage heaps around the area. While this might only be a drop in the bucket, at least it is a step in the right direction.

If you have items that are collecting dust, spiders, or just taking up space, we would be interested in any and all items that are in good condition even a little banged up. We have the ability to fix and repair these items and provide them either to charities or new and bright shiny faces.

Thanks in advance,

Michael Przybylski

Here is a link that might be useful: Awardex Website

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 9:54PM
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You DO know that you agreed NOT to advertise when you signed on, don't you???

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 7:37AM
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Earned Trophies: Showcased
Participation Trophies: Tossed.

Michael, Thanks for the link. I wish I had known/thought about that when my boys were younger.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 8:00AM
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My dear Julie, don't put yourself through the personal & emotional battle of "good mother" over the stuff.

I am of the same opinion as guiltglo (Gloria). The trophies belong to the kids, and especially after accumulation begins, they belong in the kids own rooms or a designated display location to admire, appreciate, and care for based on who's name is on it. If they cannot be proudly displayed and cared for properly, and your H is not willing to build that display shelf...then I think they fall into the "clutter" category.

"They'd cover every flat surface - we'd have to install shelving - I get claustrophobic - throughout the house - I'm tired of dusting - etc."

I think you summed it all up in your posts, and you're at a point where the choices are either clear/clean it out, or do nothing and go on as-is.

Go over to the trophies and just ask "who's in charge of this house...the trophies or me?"

You could pull them all out and let each kid pick their top 3 (or however many is appropriate) to keep and care for & let them know the rest are going. It's not negotiable. They have to choose.

Just something to think about.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 9:49AM
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Another could take a picture of every trophy and display the pics in those big picture frames that have collage cutouts. Get rid of the actual trophies. Hang the collage.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 9:01AM
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Really great ideas all. And don't forget the compromise approach--keeping a few out in the family room (or whatever common room) along with the typical photos and stuff representing ALL family members, and perhaps changing over time (this year's trophy, or a favorite, or whatever). Older kids can participate--"choose one you'd like". And then the others can be boxed for the attic or closet, and at some suitable time, which would be different for different families, (maybe not until death for some !)we'd say, okay, how's about we start separating YOUR stuff from OUR (parents) stuff?

I also think that if we (read "I") were more strict about having our kids fully participate in cleaning and keeping up the house, some of these problems would go away--either the kid would keep stuff dusted so we don't mind, or the kid would say, why the heck do we have to keep all this stuff, and we'd say, hmm, great question!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 12:28PM
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