Friday, April 27, 2012

thoughts on Memory Keeping

It wasn't long after I had Payton that I started to feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of STUFF that comes with having children.  If you are a scrapbooker or memory keeper, you save everything.  They have little slips of paper at the doctor's office with cute little bears or storks on them with places to note height and weight each time you bring your baby in for a checkup.  When your kids are born Gerber sends you a flyer for a FREE monogrammed spoon!  From birth on, there are tons of keepsakes that make their way into your home, but there comes a point when you do NOT know what to do with it all.

And then they go to preschool and come home with a daily craft project, some swipes of red paint on an 11x17 piece of paper or macaroni and punched stars glued to a yellow piece of construction paper for yellow day.

It just adds up.

What do you do with it?????

When Morgan was little I decided I would take photos of her preschool artwork and make a book out of it through Shutterfly or another online photo book maker.  That solved that dilemma.  But I still get overwhelmed with the awards and school papers and Lifetouch photos and report cards and was having trouble finding a good system to save it all until a relatively simple idea I saw on Pinterest slapped me in the forehead with a "duh" moment.  Why do I always make things more difficult than they need to be?

Enter plastic.  Plastic containers with secure lids.  And file folders.

I purchased one container for each of my daughters and enough file folders for each year of their lives thus far to start.  In each file are all those bits of memorabilia that hasn't been framed somewhere and didn't end up in a mini album or scrapbook layout.  They are things like report cards, school photos, that soccer team photo, award ribbons, and things like that.  Until I decide on a hope chest or something of that sort, I have a separate container for each girl where I keep special outfits, shoes, trophies, and things like that.  The big stuff I can't get rid of.  I label each with a big manila tag from Staples that I've either handwritten on, or typed on my old typewriter if I had the chance.

This system has taken care of a lot of clutter and seriously made my life so much easier.  I store these containers in our storage building.  Not many people have the extra space.  Maybe you use the garage or the attic.

Obviously I don't want to take up the space to house these containers in the house all year long.  That's why I was super excited to see Heidi Swapp's Memory file system (2peas) products come out at CHAW12.  The folders are super cute and compact.  These files can be kept in your scrapbook room, handy for current events, the current school year, your child's age, and the contents transferred to your big plastic storage containers as it gets full or the school year ends.  It's the perfect storage system for me!  Will it hold your daughter's ballet recital costume that you can't bear to to part with?  No.  But it'll hold that cute story she wrote about your dog or her "Citizen of the month" certificate and  the little ribbon she earned in March!  I'm all over it.  I was thinking teal but I actually think I will go with the black.  One for each girl.

I love the little file folders too because you can then separate the things you file away, or sort them if you have a lot of memorabilia from a specific event, etc.  I also adore the labels (but those may go straight to a scrapbook page).

Anyway, I just wanted to share a really fun system that is making things so much easier for me.  I've got a clutter catastrophe at casa de Fiero, but this is really helping me sort through things, and preserve those items my kids outgrow or are given that I can't let go of or donate.

If you've got another great idea for this type of storage link me up.  I feel like I'm always making things harder than they really need to be.

Have a great day!  See you tonight with projects for the Studio Calico 35mm kit reveal!



  1. Great idea! I only have one in school, but I'm drowning in her paperwork already! I love how you labeled the clothes too! One of these weekends I'll have to go back and label my girls' clothes! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Okay this is a totally awesome post. Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. LOve this! I'm starting to see what you're talking about re stuff:)

  4. Your system is great. Yes, i do keep little scraps. Non-scrapbookers throw away these things right away. I file them.

  5. Great post indeed!Thanks for sharing about this lovely stuff, thanks for sharing this. Thanks a lot..

    A webmaster of online photo book maker