There comes a time in every household when you need to make a decision about keepsakes. What is a keepsake? It is an item given to you; it can be a present from a loved one, a piece of artwork from your children. Many items can have the label keepsake, but if you keep them all you will quickly disappear into a house of clutter.
Knowing what you should keep and what you should throw away or sell can sometimes be difficult. Remembering the item isn’t the memory, it is just a reminder of a memory and that can be easier to store than the item itself.
Dealing with artwork from your children can be difficult, I would put a picture on the fridge for a few weeks at a time and I only kept a select few pictures, otherwise I would have boxes of work and it is often something they don’t want to keep when it is time to leave home. So by keeping art work to a storage box per child has worked for me, it is enough that I have memories of when they were little.
Certificates and awards, each of my family member has a ring binder with their name, this file contains all the paper awards and certificates they have acquired over the years. It means retrieval of certificates is easy; they are in the same place. Here I have kept the special birthday cards too; this is starting to make the files difficult to keep organized. However, recently I read a great idea for this, I am going to lay them out in their years and take a picture; the cards can then be recycled but the memory of the special day with pictures will now replace the bulky kept birthday cards. The only ones this will not replace is the handmade cards given by my children, they are my keepsakes that I will treasure as they grow and have their own children.
Sometimes I wonder about gifts; how would I feel if they were sold or thrown away? This makes me a conscious gift giver. I want to give what others want instead of items that become clutter in someone else’s home. This can make it difficult when you look at an item given to you as a gift, but you no longer love it. Selling gifts is not something I am able to do; I think this is difficult for many people, they end up with items that clutter their home. One way to reduce the gift clutter is to talk to your friends and relatives and discuss the option of giving items that are practical, clothes that you will wear, maybe money for food. This can really help a person rather than items, which can become a burden in the recipient’s home.
Keepsake organization is a difficult task but understanding that the items are not the memories of a person or a time, they are just a trigger, it is possible to remember events without every keepsake to keep memories alive.