We all have them – bits and pieces of memorabilia piled high in corners or hidden in plastic bags. The thought of organising them seems completely overwhelming.
Here are six steps that will help you through the different methods of storing and organising your memorabilia to properly preserve them for years to come.
1. The Quick Sort
Gather your keepsakes in one place, preferably a table or other large, comfortable workspace. Next, group similar items together (like with like) using baskets or boxes you’ve labelled with the types of mementos you have. Some common categories include: photos, kid’s artwork, cards, certificates & other documents, crafts and projects.
2. The Purge
Letting go of personal memorabilia tends to be hard, especially if you are a sentimental soul. Yet, when you pare down your keepsakes, you will feel a sense of lightness, as though you’ve been released from a heavy burden.
The goal is to make room for what matters most. Let go of items that you no longer find meaningful or remind you of a time you’d rather forget. Keep only the things that stir your heart or capture important events. Save only what you have space for and keep in mind that things are always coming in so leave some room to grow.
Photos are probably the hardest item to throw away because of the sentimental value we attach to them. Weed out bad shots to make it easier to enjoy the good ones. Tossing doesn’t mean you’re throwing away the person in it. It’s okay to give away duplicates or toss photos that are blurry, bad angles or unbecoming. Save the best – toss the rest.
Kids Artwork: Work together with your child to choose a few of his favourite pieces of artwork each year. If you keep every single piece of artwork your child brings home for the next 15 years it will crowd you out of your home.
Take photos of large artwork, crafts or school project. Keep the photo – toss the bulk.
3. Safe Storage
When storing your items, use archival quality, acid free products. Acid is a chemical substance that can weaken paper and cloth, causing it to brown and become brittle. Never store photographs and other treasured items with newspaper, which contains acid that will eventually damage your mementos. Use tissue paper instead.