There are lots of ways to manage a child’s memorabilia. As a scrapbooker, I’ve been a bit torn. Do I scrapbook all the artwork? Do I scan it and create a photobook and then toss it? Do I just throw it all in a box and leave it for my daughter to deal with when she is older? Do I include her in the process? What about non-artwork memorabilia?
During the school year, I sort artwork and other paperwork into several piles. Some goes directly to trash (while my daughter is not watching). Some goes into a pile of stuff I want to hold onto. The rest of the artwork goes into files for family members. Most of our family lives far (like hundreds of miles) away from us. Each aunt, uncle, and grandparent has their own file folder and I just randomly distribute the artwork. I distribute the artwork whenever I have other things to mail the relatives or if I will see them. At Christmas, whatever is left gets mailed with a holiday card and photos from the year. I don’t care if the relatives throw the artwork away. The point is they get to see how her artwork changes and in a way see her grow-up and change.
Now, what do I do with the stuff I want to keep? How do I decide what to keep? What do I do with it?
I have a memorabilia box from Creative Memories. It does not look like they sell them anymore. I filled the box this year, so I will have to figure something else out next year.
Here’s what I’ve included:
The dress my daughter wore around her first and second birthdays.
The shoes she learned to walk in. (Sorry this photo is blurry.)
This shirt was originally going to be donated because it never fit quite right. After it ended up in the donate pile, but before it was donated, I rescued it because it was from my mother-in-law, who past away last fall.
This box from Creative Memories came with four (two styles) of folders for storing flat memorabilia. I am using one folder for each year. I organize by school year/age. My daughter was born in June so I go by her birthday and fortunately it covers an entire school year. I took a sharpie and labeled each folder with the school year (e.g., 2011-2012).
I kept very little artwork. This year was the first year that my daughter really talked about her artwork. I dated every piece with the school year before placing it in the folder. I also wrote on the back of each piece about why I kept each piece.
My daughter attends school (daycare) at the same place I work. We have about a 30 minute commute and we go back and forth between NPR and music. This year, my daughter got into the music and has her favorites. I burned a copy of our music playlist (all her favorites). I have a copy for this box and a copy for a scrapbook page I am planning about our commuting soundtrack.
My box is full! This covers my daughter’s first four years. Next year, I’ll have to figure out a different storage solution, but I do like the 12×12 folders.
Do I scrapbook any of her art? Yes, but I’ve only scrapbooked a couple pieces of her art. I don’t scan it either. I keep some, give it away, and throw it away.
I asked how others deal with the memorabilia on facebook and most do some variation of what I mentioned here. One person uses underbed storage to store everything for the year and then sorts through it at the end of the year. I definitely need some sort of triage system in place. I don’t have a good go-to place to pile everything. I toss and sort as I go through the year, but still tossed most of the stuff I had kept from the past year.
What about you? What do you do with children’s memorabilia and artwork? Join the conversation below by commenting!
Check out my Facebook page!