Memorabilia and Photos

Family Memorabilia

Have you ever heard the term “sentimental clutter”? Let’s just say it usually stems from the precious memorabilia that can leave us shaking in a cold sweat when we think about organizing. Sentimental clutter is often the hardest clutter to eliminate.

Memories come in both a mental format and a physical format. Memorabilia comes in many different forms from kids’ artwork to photos to awards and plaques and even cards and gifts. Memorabilia has a sneaky way of piling up!

When going through and organizing memorabilia the first place to start is to break down the sentimental stuff into four categories:

  1. Stuff we can use. Can we use this on a regular basis? Maybe your grandma’s pitcher or tablecloth brings back sweet memories of holidays spent together so go ahead and use them. I love using these keepsakes especially for a family event instead of letting them sit in storage.
  2. Stuff we display. You and your family will be able to appreciate sentimental items by displaying items on a wall or shelf where you can showcase them in a beautiful way eliciting good memories about why that piece is so special. Now you have a beautiful and meaningful accessory!
  3. Store thoughtfully. Be mindful of what you are willing to store so it’s not overwhelming but easy to go through. Maybe one large container is all you need. This contains the best of the best and limits the amount of stuff you keep. Remember, seasons change and what was important to keep before may change as new events happen in your life.
  4. Pass on Heirlooms. Share items with another family member or someone else who can use or appreciate it. We all come by the sentimental stuff in different ways. Some of us have family members pass on and we’ve gotten lots of stuff from their previous households. For me, it is important to honor the happy memories, but I don’t want my house to become a time capsule of the past. I know we don’t have to keep all their physical possessions to do that. So, the question becomes what can I use and realistically display to remember them. What stuff is just going to sit in storage and deteriorate? Sometimes that stuff can just become a burden and I’m sure our loved ones would not want their stuff to be a burden. Decide what needs to be passed on so that we can really honor them. Move forward to support your goals by donating or selling the items that no longer serve you.

Kid’s Art and Keepsakes

Many of my clients have a tough time with children’s keepsakes and memorabilia. A good formula is to save a few art pieces, a couple of writing samples, special awards, a fun memory, and your child’s end-of-year report cards. This provides a great snapshot of the year. My favorite item for this project is to create a memory box. Here is a picture of one I created and gifted to a friend who was expecting a baby and it became a great hit!

I am so excited to offer you an opportunity to purchase a custom memory box for your loved one or for an upcoming baby shower or birthday gift click HERE to purchase this beautiful Milestone Tote.

It can be difficult to part with kids’ large artwork and memorabilia. Ask yourself two questions:

Why am I keeping this item? The end goal should be to create a highlight reel of the best moments. If everything is special, then nothing stands out. It shouldn’t be that you need to keep everything your child has ever done.

Who am I keeping this for? Realistically your kids won’t want a million boxes cluttering their own homes down the road. You will want to keep the things they will love and that represent them growing up. In addition to the memory box, each child should have one more container to store larger items that don’t fit in hanging files. This allows them to keep extra things but limits the space to just one box.

Kids artwork can get a bit overwhelming over time. Remember to take a photo so you have a digital copy that you can look at for years to come. Save it in a special folder in your phone or on your computer which can be a special way to keep these types of memories. Just keep a few of the tangible copies in the memory box or container. If you’d like to have a custom keepsake of your child’s art, check out Artkive. This company will send you a box to fill up and they will professionally photograph and edit each piece and create a one-of-a-kind art book. Additionally, if you have the time, you could do this yourself by taking pictures of the art and making your own album through Shutterfly!

Simple Photo Organization:

Printed Photos

The best way to start your photo organization system is to gather all of your photos and put them in one big pile and sort by event or by year. This is the time to declutter blurry photos or too many pictures of the same thing. You will never need 23 pictures of your favorite person blowing out their candles.

There are lots of storage options like photo albums, binders, and boxes. My personal favorite are photo storage boxes which I recently used for my latest photo project.

So, if you have physical photos laying around try organizing and preserving them in a photo storage box – find custom labels HERE!

The main takeaway is to create a simple system where it’s easy to find the photos you’re looking for and easy to maintain.  You will be the start of the show at your next family reunion when you can quickly find that special memory/photo everyone’s talking about!

Digital Photos

So many of our files exist on our computers and phones simply because we have the space for them. Digital clutter is still clutter. Digital clutter makes it hard to sift through and find your favorite photos. This can be frustrating and very time-consuming. My top tip for decluttering your digital photos is to simply delete a few photos daily. If you take five minutes every day all those useless photos won’t pile up which makes everything easier.

A fantastic resource for custom digital photo albums can be found on Shutterfly.

Shutterfly has many photo book styles to choose from and easy tutorials to learn the process.  I have been enjoying making these each year as it consolidates all of my photos in one place and I am limited to choosing only my top 100 pictures from that year.  It is also nice to see everything that happened during that year in one place!

Finally, make sure to backup your saved photos. Some options for backups are MS Cloud, Google Photos, and I-Cloud. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your most precious photos.

I hope this inspires you to keep meaningful memorabilia which is easily accessible and protected so that you and your family can enjoy it for years to come!

Angela Fuhler

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