What Do I Do With All This Memorabilia?

I have worked with many clients over the years, and for some, the area of memorabilia just brings them to a solid halt. They can more easily deal with less emotional objects but the minute we delve into their diaries, school papers, and other memorable items, they all ask me the same thing, ‘What do I do with all this memorabilia?’

  • Sort It– A basic, but necessary, first step is set aside time and go through it all. Discard anything you don’t want your kids to see or that carries no emotional importance. For example, it may be important for you to remember your high school boyfriend, but do your kids really need to know about him? Set aside anything that you want your children to have, or that defines who you are now. My friend still has her scrapbooks from her first marriage in storage. She wants her son to know that she and his father had a happy marriage at one point.  If you can pare down what you are physically keeping to a pre-determined box or container, that will help you know what you can and cannot keep.
  • Scan It– If your diaries or school paper mean something to you and you can’t seem to part with them, why not scan them so you could re-read them and yet, free up valuable real estate? If not, choose just a few pages, cut them out of the diary at the binding, and discard the rest.
  • Take a Picture– If you have any large objects that you would like to remember but don’t want to store the item, take a photo of it. You could create a digital photo album of all your special mementoes’ and whenever you want to remember, look at the album. Just think of it as an early start to any downsizing you may have to do in your life!
  • Box It – After you have pared down your memories, find a special box to store them in. If you still have too many items, maybe you need to go through them once more, so they can all fit in one box. You can easily pick up a memory box at TJ Maxx or Michaels. Choose one that matches your unique personality or the theme you are going for.
  • Frame It – I have seen many lovely shadow boxes of themed memories. One was of special event ticket stubs. Another was pieces of fabric from beloved clothes. A friend of mine lined hers with a velvet background and put her wedding invitation, her husband’s dried boutonniere, and a swatch from her wedding dress in one. Use your imagination and see if there isn’t a theme of memories that you would like to display.

What other ways have you used to save your memories?

Photo: Cristina M. Miller