How to Organize Your Childhood Treasures and Other Collections

{This post was originally created a while back as a simple guide for a sister of a good friend of mine who was seeking some assistance coming up with a way to organize her collection of childhood mementos. The steps I compiled for her, though, are universal, and are based on my own personal system I’ve been successfully using for over 15 years. Enjoy!}

  1. Sort through and separate by year or “era” to get things roughly in order.
  2. Determine what is most important; set it aside.
  3. Put items that are still usable in a separate container or box and give to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or list for free on Freecycle or Craigslist.
    Put items that not as sentimental to you, but are of collectible/monetary value in another box and schedule a time to list them for sale on Craigslist, Ebay, or, if you have a large collection of good-quality vintage items, on Etsy.
  4. Put items that are not usable or have no sentimental value in a big black trash bag and don’t look inside it before you throw it out or you’ll lose your nerve.
  5. Take the items that are most valuable to you and next decide if you would prefer to use them in some way in your home decor, or if you would like to simply have organized access to them.
  6. Items that you want to use in your decorations, set aside for future use.
  7. Items that you want to keep in storage in safe keeping, write on an index card or durable cardstock the kind of item it is, the year or era you recall using it or making it or receiving it, and any other pertinent info (i.e. “Aunt Carol gave this to me for my 5th birthday.”) Place these in a quality clear plastic tote and mark each tote with the general type of items included. I like to write something like “Andrea’s Memory Box.”
  8. Display your most cherished items in your home!
  9. For additional organization, you can also clear out a lot of paperwork (old notes, pictures you drew, etc.) by either creating scrapbooks if you prefer something tangible, or scanning them as digital images and saving them to a storage device, whether your computer’s hard drive, or a DVD, or an external hard drive. Instead of “memory boxes,” sort as labeled folders on the hard drive! (Note: I’m still working on this part of the process, but I think it is the ideal way to save all those treasured pieces of paper while freeing up space.)

{Photo: cornetta}


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Filed under Collections, Home, Storage

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