The minimalist trend has found wide acceptance today as modern man finds it increasingly desirable to adopt a less-is-more approach to everyday living. But even with many memorabilia items either ending up in pre-loved retail shops or donation boxes, there are just some things that we have difficulty letting go of. We aren’t referring to trading cards here or chinaware collectibles or any other items procured from auctions and which are collected and kept for eventual financial gain. We are talking about items with individual stories — wedding memorabilia like your engagement ring, your grandma’s treasured antiques including that beloved vintage clock that you inherited from Gramps, even those dolls from your childhood — all items that are brimming with precious memories. But accumulating all these keepsakes will be pointless if they are just set aside in one corner to gather dust and mildew. Check out these best storage how-to’s and keep the memories burning for a lifetime.
Toss, donate or keep
First things first — let’s deal with the inconvenient truth. We all know that it’s easier to put away stuff in a cupboard somewhere than having to sit down and take time to make the hard decision between tossing and keeping. But postponing the task of organizing your clutter not only creates chaotic living conditions (which muddle not only your physical but your mental space as well), it also takes away from the enjoyment that comes with appreciating well-kept and properly stored items.
Start organizing by choosing which keepsakes fall under the following categories: toss, donate, or keep. Once you’ve made the necessary decisions, stick with them. Call the beneficiary organization to quickly pick up the donated items at the soonest possible time. Have the garbage collector haul off your box of ditched objects so you will not have the chance to change your mind.
Stay physical or go digital
Review your keepsakes and see if there is anything that you can “immortalize” in easier-to-store photos. Those adorable watercolor drawings your son made in his pre-school years, puppy love letters from your childhood crush, those chunky plaques and trophies from work, and yes, even those bulky college yearbooks — they can all be “digitally converted” to save you precious storage space. Categorize them in digital photo albums for easier recollection. As your photos have incalculable worth, make sure that they are stored in multiple secure locations. There are many available cloud storage options with quality resolution and are reasonably priced. Re-assess all the memorabilia that you have decided to keep and think about whether storing them in pixel form is something that your memento-loving heart can delight in.
Be retrospective or be innovative
Having mustered the courage to digitally store some of your keepsakes, go over what’s left and have another re-assessment (Yes, a certain level of commitment is needed for this project. After all it took you years to accumulate everything!). Now, this idea might be a bit more novel to you. Instead of keeping that delicately printed but heavy queen-size comforter that you no longer use but still cannot let go of, why not convert selected pieces of the quilt into decoratively dainty pillow covers? How about repurposing your grandma’s chunky vintage ring or earrings into a hipper pave brooch? The creative possibilities are unlimited.
In plain view
Having decided on your final collection of keepsakes, begin the categorization process. The most obvious way to organize keepsakes is by theme — wedding mementos, baby articles, travel curios, and so on. This way, it is better to have a richer appreciation of the memories behind the items. But how can they be repeatedly cherished if they are hidden at the bottom of a storage box or pushed back into the darkest crevices of your wardrobe cabinet? While you cannot display all your memorabilia (unless you plan to convert your house into a museum), you can select and display or use certain cherished items. This will allow you to relish them more. Lay them out in such a way that it would be easy for anyone to take them out of the keepsakes cabinet and get a better view. If you are displaying books, allow ease of access for any budding bibliophile. Even if your mementos are visible, moisture and mold problems that may attach to them may not be as evident. To prevent memento-damaging elements, make sure that your well-loved treasures are kept in the right storage conditions. For example, books should be stored in a cool, dry place (try to muster a minimum of 50% humidity). Brick-heavy tomes should be stored flat to prevent damage to the spines.
Displaying your valued treasures doesn’t mean just relegating them to the keepsakes cabinet.
Remember the tip on “going digital”? Why not convert your digital photo album into a coffee table photo book? Many companies offer personalized photo book services. How about those sweet ceramic dwarf and pixie figurines gifted to you by your BFF? Take them outdoors to create your very own fairy garden.
Out of sight
Before storing those items that you have chosen to hide from view, categorize them by theme. Your wedding dress and all other wedding paraphernalia should go together. Group them carefully for a more coherent array. Classifying them this way will allow you to label, catalog them better, and find anything faster should you feel the need to dig them up in the future. For these items, similar to your treasures on display, storage conditions should also be kept optimal. This means ensuring that the storage area is kept free from dust mites, mold, mildew, and a variety of other microorganisms that can cause the deterioration of your prized possessions. Keep your storage areas clean, frequently dusted, well-ventilated, and away from harsh light and fluctuating temperatures, as well as from moths and mice.
Should you discover that your treasure stockpiles are eating up more square feet than expected, if you are renting your home, ensure that you abide by the lease before doing any major storage change. There may be considerations that you may need to discuss with your landlord, such as the energy consumption of additional storage as well as owner accountability for repair costs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sophia Young is a content writer covering lifestyle and fashion topics. She’s actively participating as a guest blogger for various lifestyle blogs and has been co-authoring some articles of her colleagues. She’s currently enrolled in a content marketing course hoping to expand her knowledge in digital marketing.