Organising your memories & keepsakes!

When I’m out helping my clients de-clutter their homes, the one thing that always surprises me is how few of them have a memory box.

All of us have little things that we like to keep as memories of times and experiences past. But do you have a little place to keep them? It’s surprising how few actually do!

As I de-clutter and organise with my clients, we come across some very precious memories in the form of photos, children’s drawings, a postcard from a deceased relative, love letters, birthday cards, competition medals etc. And yet, how we find them is purely by accident as we’re cleaning out a drawer, a coat pocket, a wardrobe or even the floor. These special things have been lost among the clutter.

Then, there are other times, when there are special keepsakes that haven’t been lost. A client has kept them, yet they’re loose in a drawer locker, or among the jewellery or in the top kitchen press. They just don’t know where else they should keep them.

So it’s a surprise to me that these special mementos don’t have a special home of their own. Call it what you like – a memory box, a keepsake box, a safe, a treasure chest…whatever. But everyone keeps trinkets that remind them of a special person, a place, an experience and everyone needs a nice place to put these things.

Below is a photo of my own memory boxes. These are my most recent ones. I’ve another two in my parents attic. Those ones are matching navy boxes that held Newbridge silver if I remember correctly. I rescued them from the recycling bin & used them for my memories. I liked them for their matching colour and they were a good size.

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These ones are from Dunnes Stores and were €10. The little hooks on the outside are so handy when I’m pulling them off the shelf to pop something inside! Inside them are a little bit of everything. I have diaries, calendars, birthday cards, notes from family, love letters etc.

That’s the beauty of memory boxes, they can be full of different things for all our different memories.

I have a few bits of advice when choosing and organising memory boxes:

1. Size

Even though boxes can be very pretty when they’re small, for keepsakes you need to get a decent sized box. The small ones just fill up too quickly. And a large one will be too difficult to lift and access. So when choosing a memory box, pick one that’s juuuuust right!

2. Access

Your memory box needs to be within reach so that you can access it whenever you need. A little keepsake can be brought into the home at any time, so you need to be able to pop it into it’s own home easily.

3. One for all the family

Everyone needs a memory box. We often think of getting one when our children are just born to keep a lock of their hair or their first tooth. But you need to keep it up. Get a memory box for everyone in the family and let them keep the little things that are important to them.

4. You can’t keep everything

Don’t use your memory box as an excuse to keep everything. I have loads of little cute, silly things that make up my memories, but it’s only two relatively small boxes in my current home! If you end up dumping everything into your memory box, then it just becomes a box full of clutter. It’s supposed to be a special place for items that remind you of happy and important times in your life. You’ll be able to sit on your bed and go through it thinking back over special moments.

But, if it’s full of every nic-nac that you’ve ever come across, then all it will do is conjure up memories of indecision. That won’t make you feel so good! A memory box is not a means to avoid making hard decisions on the clutter and things in your home that you do not need. It should be filled with items that you love and that make you feel good and happy.

So! With all that in mind, it’s time to pick out something nice. Recently,  I went out on the hunt to find great storage for your treasure!

1. Make Your Own

Personally, I think the nicest memory boxes are the ones you make yourself. It can be as simple as a shoe box or cardboard box rescued from the local shops, covered in wrapping paper! Or it can be more elaborate. Make them as personal and creative as the items inside it! It can also be a lovely afternoon crafting with the kids as they can make their own. And best of all, this is usually the cheapest option!

These ones here are from Star Supplies in Dublin but you can get crafts from Easons, Reads and all good stationary or art supply shops around the country.

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Oval box, €11.76, Star Supplies

 

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Square box, €2.94, Star Supplies

 

 

2. Next

This very cute set of two storage boxes are from Next Home which I saw in Carrickmines. €22.

Storage boxes (set of 2) €22, Next Home

Storage boxes (set of 2) €22, Next Home

 

3. TK MAXX

Wow what an array of boxes TK Maxx has. I never realised. Here’s two that I thought were lovely, but there were loads to choose from in different sizes.

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Parisian storage box, from €20, TK Maxx

 

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Large storage box, €12.99; Small storage box, €6.99, TK Maxx

 

4. IKEA

IKEA always have a good supply of fancy storage boxes – and it’s usually in a handy set of two!

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PINGLA range, from €3.50, IKEA

 

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PINGLA range, model shown here €6.50, IKEA

 

5. Try a Hat Box

Why not think outside the storage box and try a hat box instead!

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Prices vary

 

6. Dunnes Stores

As I mentioned above with my own storage, Dunnes Stores have some good storage boxes that you could use for your memories.

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Flock boxes, €5, Dunnes Stores

 

 

So there you have it mateys! A few examples of what your future memory box might look like to help you store your past treasures!

 

Let’s Start Organising!

Sarah

 

 

 

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