Valentine’s Day & Managing Memorabilia

Happy Valentine's Day! This is our yummy dessert I made to celebrate.

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is our yummy dessert I made to celebrate.

First off, Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! Thanks so much for stopping to read my blog and I hope you all have lovely days. I am usually a little bah humbug about Valentine’s because for a long time it was a reminder of not having a Valentine and I resented the Hallmark holiday.  I am happily married and still feel like you should show your love everyday instead of just once a year but I have to admit I get caught up in the decorating aspect and just having fun with it.

This does lead to a question that I get a lot from clients which is how do I deal with paper memorabilia? What do I do with the old birthday cards, letters, notes, etc. from various holidays? Of utmost importance is that you decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away. Now that I’ve said that, know that you can’t keep everything. What I think you really want to focus on are the ones that mean a lot to you—special birthdays, cards with memorable messages written in them, notes from relatives, etc. I don’t think the generic birthday card from your dentist or insurance company warrants keeping unless you have a special relationship with them. J

So what do I do to manage these cards, notes and letters that I want to keep?

Box of wedding memorabilia, including honeymoon boarding passes

Box of wedding memorabilia, including honeymoon boarding passes

  1. Designate a location for them: this is an absolute MUST! Get a pretty lidded box or designate a drawer in a piece of furniture for this type of memorabilia. Everything needs a home and if you know where to put it, it won’t end up in a pile of other stuff somewhere.
  2. Box it up: Semi kolon makes some great looking boxes for this and they look fabulous on a book case or shelf. These are found at Container Store and Sam Flax. I used one for cards and things from our wedding. I knew I wasn’t patient enough for #3 but I at least know where everything goes and enjoy going back through the box periodically. You can also get attractive wicker or rattan boxes at Cost Plus or HomeGoods. Just make sure it has a lid to keep the contents dust free.
  3. Make a scrapbook: This suggestion is for the crafty people out there. You can make a really nice book out of the cards by using a photo album or empty scrapbook. Etsy has an amazing selection of unique, handcrafted ones.
  4. Scan or take pictures of the cards and messages. You can make a photo book easily with Shutterfly or TinyPrints. Even if you just keep the photos, you can organize them on your computer so you can easily retrieve them to view later. Just remember you need to back up your computer on a regular basis

I hope these ideas help you in managing some of your paper memorabilia. Remember to keep and honor what is important to you. Having multiple, random piles is not honoring the memories; having a pretty, accessible home for them is. Do you have other suggestions for how you keep up with cards, notes, and letters?

Happy organizing!


4 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day & Managing Memorabilia

  1. Great tips here! I was looking for a child’s social security card and I had to go through HUGE (overstuffed) files of report cards, certificates, etc. I think a pretty box would be much better!

  2. MIght I suggest a files for each child to keep these kinds of records? You could color code them to make it easier but at least having a place where you keep important paperwork for each of them might make retrieval less time consuming.

  3. I like the idea of taking pictures of the cards you want to remember! Right now I have almost every greeting card sent to me, my kids, given to my husband by me, along with wedding invitations and more, for the past 10-15 years! All stuffed into shoe boxes in my closet. Its so much I’m starting to wonder what I’ll ever do with it all. One day on a whim I just might toss it all out.

    • I know it seems so insensitive to tell people to throw things out like that but if you aren’t looking at it, it’s taking up space in your home. Pick out some favorites and maybe make a collage or photo book? Thanks for stopping by!

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