3 Tips for Organizing & Storing Your Memorabilia and Photographs
Many of us have more memorabilia than we know what to do with. Photographs, old video tapes, slides, books, and keepsakes often appear in cluttered spaces.
Here are some tips on how to store it so that it's safe, organized and out-of-the-way.
1. Purge. Schedule a day to go through your current stash of memorabilia.
Identify 6-12 items that are the MOST precious to you.
Find a way to honor these items by making space for them in your home. Display them on your wall, on a table, in a shadow box, or in a glass cabinet.
If you don't have the space to honor and display the precious ones, pass them on to someone in your family (not living in your home) who does.
2. Store. Next, assign a large plastic bin to each member of your family that lives with you (or that stores stuff with you). Sort the remaining memorabilia into each person's bin.
Here's a secret: Only fill each bin HALF FULL. You need to allow space for new items as you create new memories.
Each member of your household will need to select the items that are MOST important to them to place in their bin.
Take photographs of the remaining items so that you have pictures to cherish. Then properly dispose of the items, sell them, or pass them on.
One of things you can do with your photographs is make really beautiful coffee table books. Each page of the book will be a photo of an item with along caption that explains the item, who's it was, it's history, why it's special to you, and so on.
These books are super cheap to have made.
I guarantee that you and your loved ones will enjoy the books far more than the items sitting in your basement, garage, or attic collecting dust.
They make a great conversation starter and can easily be passed down to future generations.
You could also take a beautiful photo of a grouping of items and have a canvas made of the photo.
It's important to properly store your memorabilia and your photographs so that they do not get damaged.
Have all of your non-digital photos scanned and put on discs. Because of new technology it's now easy and affordable!
Having paper photographs is a liability. They will deteriorate over time and if you have a flood or fire, they will be lost forever.
Order a few extra copies of the discs. Put one set in your safe deposit box, keep a set on your bookshelf and give a set to family members.
With technology it's easier and cheaper than ever to convert all of your paper photographs, slides and video tapes to digital files. You can look at these digital photos on your TV using your DVD player, or pop into your computer.
Once everything has been converted, I recommend tossing out the actual photos, videos and slides. If you're not comfortable with that, then box them up and store them away in an attic or basement.
3. Set limits. It's easy to let your memorabilia collection get out of control, especially if it's your kid's artwork / school work or items of a loved one who as passed.
Start by letting each member of your household know that they get one large bin of memorabilia and that's it!
As new memorabilia enters your home, honor it appropriately (perhaps replacing another honored piece), or place it in the appropriate bin.
If your bin (or your child's bin) is getting full, it's time to do a quick sort and weed out the items that are less important to make room for the more important items.
Remember, you don't need to keep every item!
Store the bins in your basement or a closet. If you have kids or grand kids who are bringing memorabilia to you frequently, you can keep a basket in a convenient location to collect the memorabilia.
When the basket is full, pull out the most precious items and add them to the bin. Toss or photograph the rest.
May this be your MOST organized year yet,