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Tackle Your Keepsakes


Published: 07/23/2012

by Helen Buttigieg

We all have them – bits and pieces of  memorabilia piled high in corners or hidden

in plastic bags. The thought of organizing them seems completely overwhelming.

I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the different methods of storing

and organizing 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 and

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 that 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.

Photographs: These 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, show bad angles or are

unbecoming. Save the best – toss the rest.

Kids’ artwork:

Find the the diamonds. Work together with your child to choose a few of her favourite

pieces of artwork each year. If you keep every single piece of artwork your child

brings home for 15 years, it will crowd you out of your home. Take photos of

large artwork, crafts or school projects. Keep the photo – toss the bulk.

3. Practice 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 turn brown and become brittle. Never store photographs or other treasured

items with newspaper, which contains acid that will eventually damage

your mementos.

4. Contain it:

Different mementos require different storage solutions. Try these ideas for your treasures.

Photographs: If you’ve been planning to put your photos in albums but never

seem to get around to it, let go of the pressure and guilt those stressful procrastination

projects can create. A quick, easy and inexpensive alternative

to the photo album is a photo


At the start of every year, millions of people make a promise to themselves that this

will be the year to finally clear the clutter and take control of their lives. An organized,

uncluttered living space can dramatically improve your efficiency and calm your nerves.

Here are some ideas from Ikea that can help you fulfill your urge without going over

your budget.

A chest or a toy box can serve as a coffee table as well as storage for out-of-season

clothes, Christmas ornaments or toys that are only needed when visitors stop by.

Hide messy wires using cord trunking along the wall or floor.

The space under an open coffee table needn’t go to waste when it can easily

become storage space with the addition of large wicker baskets.

Putting a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf behind a bed or a sofa is a practical way to allow

items such as books and collectibles to be displayed,

as well as provide hidden storage space on the

lower shelves.

Smaller, numerous objects like CDs and DVDs can make the most relaxed areas look

cluttered and busy. Inexpensive CD towers and bookcases with adjustable shelving can clean up

a room and de-stress your search for the perfect entertainment.


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