Now that summer has come to an end, you probably find yourself with a whole lot of memories of summer vacations, picnics and family gatherings.
With those memories often comes 'stuff' you collect in an attempt to preserve those memories - to hold onto a piece of them forever so that you won't forget.
The part of me that still has Bea Johnson from "Garbology" whispering in my ear tells me to tell you to stop collecting stuff because it will only clutter your life and will probably just end up in a landfill at some point.
But another part of me - a bigger part of me - a part of me I am struggling to change- identifies with keeping every ticket stub and every seashell because each one conjures up a feeling I don't want to ever forget.
So what can you do with all of these mementos?
Of course there's always scrapbooking, but I've told you a thousand and one times that I'm not neat. Jason would have to be the one to make all those cuts and glue everything to the pages in straight lines.
But there are some other ways to preserve memories. Keeping mementos in jars is one that I really like (although I've never actually done it).
Of course that savvy couple John and Sherry over at Young House Love have done it:
I like this one because of the uniformity of all of the jars:
Maybe your objects don't fit nicely into a little jar. How about a memory tree? Here, family mementos are preserved on little tree.
Or maybe you have a bunch of things that trigger memories, but you don't want them on display? You might consider a memory box. You could have one for each memory, or one big box that houses a bunch of mementos.
And what about storing mementos that aren't necessarily from vacations, but are daily items like child's artwork? There are a million different ideas on Pinterest and all over blog land on the best ways to manage the pounds and pounds of artwork that comes home, but here are a few of the displays I like best.
Creating a wall to serve as a "gallery" looks nice and will certainly honor your little artist
This chalk board is fun because you can change the art whenever you want and draw whimsical frames around the piece.
Keep it simple with a series of clip boards
I love these white frames with all of the colorful kid's artwork displayed.
And what about greeting cards, notes and other little mementos?
Here is a nice little booklet was created to keep a couple's wedding cards. The details are beautiful (see the little cross at the top of the ring? Love it!)
Here an old shutter is re-purposed to display cards.
I like this simple envelope idea to store kid's notes.
Simply place the notes inside, put a sticker on the front and date it.
What do we do?
Well, we are big fans of real photos, so I try to get them printed regularly and put them in photo albums.
You might recall that our seating arrangements at our wedding turned into a book of personalized messages from each of our guests. You can read about it here.
The cover is a picture of us and inside there is a photo of each guest and the message they wrote to us on the back.
And for all of Imani's awards, ribbons, etc, I keep them in a 3-ring binder with clear sleeves. It's nothing earth shattering or particularly beautiful but it's a place where everything is stored in one spot for her to look back one day and take with her if she wants.
As for children's art? We used to keep every piece but that got overwhelming quickly. So we have a couple of storage bins and we choose our favorite pieces and display them on the side of the refrigerator when they first come home. After that, they are stored in the bin in the basement. Some pieces of artwork have been turned into magnets, others have been turned into Christmas ornaments.
We also have decorative boxes - one houses mementos from Imani's infancy (like baby shoes, a frilly dress, etc) and one houses mementos from our wedding.
What about you? What's your favorite way to store mementos?