What Should I Keep - Sorting Through Memorabilia via Clean Mama

This week’s organizing challenge is MEMORABILIA and I’m going to challenge you to make a little progress sorting through memorabilia. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to store memorabilia, because it varies according to the space you have, what you want to keep, and what’s precious enough to save indefinitely. I have a pretty simple method for keeping special and important items – maybe my method will help you too. Don’t make it too complicated or involved – simply create a couple specific spots/zones/boxes/bins to save memorabilia and then file it appropriately.

Establish ground rules for what you are keeping and what you are tossing – memorabilia doesn’t fall under the if I haven’t worn it in 6 months, or if it isn’t being used daily get rid of it, it’s different. Everyone has a different interpretation of what they want to keep – that’s personal. So, first things first, come up with your own rules and then follow my steps.

  1. Start with the really old stuff – if there are things that you have been holding on to for years and you know there’s no reason to save them anymore, spend a couple minutes this week doing a quick purge of those items. Label the items that you are keeping by year (1993, 1995-1997) or by era (high school, college, grandma’s items, wedding, etc.)
  2. If you have kids, use a bin or a box to keep special items that can’t be stored flat like a special blanket or a special outfit. Keep it in their bedroom closet so you can take it down and look through it with them – there’s no sense keeping items in a basement if no one’s ever going to look through them.
  3. Establish a method going forward that works for your family. I keep the kids’ special papers in a large file drawer that has a file folder for each year and artwork goes in a large folder. You can also take pictures of artwork and special pieces and save them digitally as well. You can apply this method to any one in your home – file folders work great for keeping memorabilia. Scrapbooks, digital or paper, are also a great way to keep the memorabilia out of the closet and in a special place.

That’s it – 3 simple action steps that you can take in a couple minutes this week – don’t get overwhelmed, just move forward and do a little work. Only you know what is important enough to keep and what you can get rid of. If this is too hard to determine for yourself, ask a friend or relative for a little help in the decision-making department.

Any tips to share when it comes to sorting through memorabilia? Share them in the comments.