Memorabilia Mess


Liz Jenkins


One of the things I run into with so many clients is what to do with all of the “stuff” of their lives. It’s old resumes, photos, report cards, ticket stubs, letters – all of the things we plan on doing something with someday. Most people plan to scrapbook in some form or another, whether it’s a photo album, a shadow box, or an actual scrapbook with all of the cute sayings and sparkly things. The problem with this is actually getting started on it. The biggest obstacles most of my clients face is what to do with it when they aren’t working on it, finding all of the pieces of the project, and the guilt of having the unfinished project hanging around.

My solution to this is two-fold.

First, get rid of the guilt. We all have busy lives. This is NOT a priority. Living your life is a priority. Paying attention to your children, your home, yourself. This is a priority. Scrapbooking is a hobby and therefore should be used for enjoyment, not as a guilt inducing chore.

Second, do the same thing with all of that personal history that we do when organizing anything. Gather it all up in one spot. Get rid of anything you don’t want or need. Sort it by general categories such as by life stages or by era. Then STOP. Place it all in an appropriate container. File bins are usually good – you can use hanging folders with the box bottoms¬†(those ones that expand anywhere from 1/2″ to 2″), accordian files (the kind used for storing bills and papers), or simply an under bed plastic bin (place each category in an envelope, rubber band them, paper clip them, or whatever). What you’ve now done is created a way that when you are ready, willing and able to work on this project, all of it is in one place.

If you really feel ambitious, you can gather all of your supplies for making your photo album, scrapbook or shadow box and put it all with your memorabilia.

Now when you are ready to work on this project – when you have the time and feel the urge – it’s all in one place. Neat and organized – and just waiting for you on your schedule.

Don’t let stuff rule you – you choose when you want to deal with it, not the other way around.