Organization Week: Organizing Memorabilia

Whether you have a secret stash of love letters, a collection of concert tickets, or school papers and report cards, memorabilia is a great way to add meaning to your layouts. Often we don’t have a system in place to keep these articles safe and organized, and when it comes time to use them on a layout, we can’t find them.

There are many different ways to get started with your sorting. If you have a large family, it might make sense to sort by owner. Use one acid free album per person to stow documents, notes, schoolwork, and other flat items and one larger box for each family member for dimensional items. To keep your storage compact, try to find an album that will fit inside the boxes. Or, if you plan to keep your memorabilia stored in plain sight, search for decorative containers like these suitcases. below.

Another way to sort memorabilia is to sort by importance or value. Some memorabilia (such as historical documents, wedding keepsakes, and family heirlooms) are priceless with sentimental value, and others (such as ticket stubs, travel brochures, playbills, and receipts) are probably a little less so. Store irreplaceable pieces in archival files, closed containers, or even within a fireproof safe.

Less critical ephemera that you intend to scrapbook immediately can be organized in an accordion file or binder. Sometimes the weight and dimension of your items determine how they should be organized. Storing large, heavy items with small, fragile items can be problematic. Try storing your smaller bits and pieces in envelopes within a photo box, use file folders and binders for newspaper clippings and certificates, and save lidded bins for holding large trophies and your grandmother’s bowling ball. Photograph the items before you store them away and paste the photo to the outside of the bin.

If you are someone who really loves your memorabilia then storing it in plain sight might be the solution for you. Bookshelves are a wonderful place to store memorabilia. Use glass jars to contain collections and decorative photo boxes or baskets to hold paper items like ticket stubs and cards.

Another creative idea for storing items in a bookshelf is to hang a curtain rod in the bookshelf, and then use clips to hold cards and postcards like Rebecca Sower did here.

A storage solution that works especially well in a craft room is a DIY French memo board. If you have one above your desk, your treasured items won’t get lost in hidden containers, and they’ll be right there to inspire your next scrapbook page.

Children’s artwork and schoolwork can present an organization problem because of the sheer volume of masterpieces your budding artists create. Displaying items on a clothesline is a great way to show your children you love their creativity.

Before you take items down from the clothesline, snap a photo or scan artwork to your hard drive. Once their artistic accomplishments are safely copied to your hard drive, you can discard the originals. Of course, you’ll probably be left with a collection of items you just can’t force yourself to throw away, so use a file box to keep them safe and organized.

Now that you have some ideas for organizing your memorabilia, take this quiz to help you take stock of the memorabilia you have and the role it plays in your scrapbooking.

Erin Weed, online editor

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15 Responses to Organization Week: Organizing Memorabilia

  1. Momma Goose says:

    Love the idea for the art work. What size is the box? Can you tell us the manufacturer or where it was bought at?


  2. dawn says:

    I have a couple ideas that people gave me. My favorite for art work is to

    1. put the holiday ones in frames and change them each holiday to display around the house

    2. the everyday ones to decorate a playroom/kidsroom

    3. also to keep in a bin on wheels under the bed.

    What I do with my other things like awards, certificates, programs, cards, etc.

    I have a large envelope for each theme and just put these in the right envelope as needed.

    This year I’m including more of these items in my Project Life album as well.

    Hope this helps and thanks so much for your neat ideas. I’m loving this week.

  3. Abby says:

    Thank you so much for the ideas on artwork! I have 2 small children in daycare/preschool and I am inundated with their artwork!!

  4. Ladyofthelake says:

    One of the things I do with bigger, slightly bulkier items like programs and playbills is to tuck them in the page protector behind the layout (in between two ultimately). If it’s smaller, but I want to be able to read the back too, I use the corners — they work great for cards, post cards, etc.

  5. Candice S says:

    Thanks for such a helpful article! Right now most of my memorabilia is in the bottom drawer of my clear shelves. It’s a pain to sort through when I’m looking for a specific item. I already display my 6YO’s artwork throughout our home & I rotate the pieces out on a regular basis. I can’t wait to re-organize my treasured items using these ideas!

  6. Hope says:

    great ideas!! When my girls were smaller, every June I would take a photo of them surrounded by all their school projects/artwork and then scrap those photos. So I only saved the most memorable items, but we still have the memory of everything else they did!

  7. Hanna Hannivig says:

    Thanks for the Great ideas!

  8. Connie says:

    At a friend’s home, I saw that they had covered an entire wall in the dining room with corkboard. They displayed just about everything! If you didn’t want this in a dining room, it could be done in a family room, play room or a bedroom.

  9. Susan Phillips says:

    My idea for storing memorabilia until it can be scrapped is to buy a legal size accordion file with at least 12 dividers. I then label the dividers Jan-Dec, using one accordion file per year. Simply drop your tickets stubs, playbills, school programs, etc into the proper month and when you’re ready to scrap, the items are easily located.

  10. AmandaPanda says:

    I also have two precious little artists. One that could draw people with eyes, ears, hair and mouths before she was 2! (I know, I’m being a bragging mommy, but I can’t help it) Anyway, I save all her stuff in a binder with regular old page protectors. Special ones go in the scrapbook. Still haven’t found a solution for the huge artwork papers, but I was thinking of putting them into scroll form and storing them in a large tube that I have her decorate? Any ideas for what to use for the tube?

  11. Erika Hayes says:

    these are BRILLIANT ideas! Thanks CK I have sooo many thing I can use all these ideas for storing my memorabilia

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  13. Maggie says:

    Hi, love the different colored suitcases. Where can I buy those, I want them all the same size I need 11 for a girl scout troop. Thanks

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