31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 29 (Sentimental Items) | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 29 (Sentimental Items)

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 29 (Sentimental Items)

Welcome to Day Twenty Nine of the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series!  Wow...only a few days left.  I'm so glad you've joined me.  Throughout this series I've been sharing organizing tips that will help you on your journey from overwhelmed to organized.  I'm including lots of pictures and links for ideas that I've found around the web that relate to the topic each day.  You'll find a complete list of all the posts in the 31 Days of Organizing Tips tab above, or at the end of this post.

OK, I need to be honest with you here.  I feel very hypocritical writing today's post.  I have a very hard time organizing sentimental items.  Mainly because I keep too many things.  Especially when it comes to stuff my kids made.

I have piles and piles of their school work, art work, and other creations to sort through.  I also have stacks of birthday cards, souvenirs from places we've visited, and other memorabilia to go through.   I have a hard time throwing away things that bring back memories of them when they were younger.

I am getting better.  Slowly.  I purged a lot of baby clothes, books, and toys a few months ago and just kept a few special things for each of my kids from their baby and toddler years.  But I need to tackle those piles and save the best items and purge the rest.

In addition to kids' memorabilia and work, there are lots of other sentimental items people struggle to organize (again, myself included).  I had planned to include tips for organizing things we've inherited from parents and grandparents as well as memorabilia from our own childhood, teen years, and adulthood.  But, I want to do justice to those topics so I will do a separate post another time on them.

OK, enough about all the sentimental stuff I'm hanging onto.  Here are a couple tips for narrowing down what you want to keep.

Erin at Sunny Side Up shares her multi-step purging process in this post (click the link below the picture to see a description and more pictures).  Then, once she has completely decided what to keep, she creates layouts for books that she makes for each of her kids, using the most memorable items.

Source:  http://www.thesunnysideupblog.com/search/label/Scrapbooking

And Leanne at Organize and Decorate Everything says this:  "You don't have to keep everything.  You have permission to not keep every little tiny thing your child has ever made a mark on and you won't be considered a bad parent."  What a great reminder.  Thanks Leanne!  In addition to tips on how to decide what to keep, she shares several great ideas on how to organize the masterpieces that you chose.

Source:  http://organizeyourstuffnow.com/wordpress/displaying-and-storing-kids-art-work-and-school-papers

Here are several other ideas on how to organize or display your kids' masterpieces and memorabilia.

1.  If you want to keep special greeting cards you can make a book out of them using binder rings.

Source:  http://mommyofgg.blogspot.ca/2012/04/keepsake-card-books.html

2.  Use Ziplock bags to group like items together and then label them and put them in a plastic bin.  Great for baby clothes, special occasions, time periods.  

Source:  http://mommyofgg.blogspot.ca/2012/04/organizing-your-childs-memorabilia.html

3.  In a previous Organizing Ideas for the Weekend post, I shared a tip from Jenny at The Frugal Girls to take a picture of your child holding their creation.  This would also work for special gifts or sentimental items.  If you take a picture with the person who gave it to you then you will not only remember the item but that person and your memories associated with them too.

Source:  http://thefrugalgirls.com/2012/09/preserving-kids-artwork.html

4.  I love this idea!  Scan your kids' work and then make a collage and frame it!

Source:  http://www.jenthousandwords.com/2008/08/artwork-in-boys-room.html

5.  You can use a portfolio folder to display and store sentimental items and kids' work.

Source:  http://www.kuzakscloset.com/other/organizing/kids-artwork-organization-idea/

6.  This is a great way to organize school paperwork.  Put each grade in a hanging folder and then keep them in a plastic file box.  It helps limit what you keep but makes it easy to maintain.  Click the link below the picture for free printable labels and a template for the cover page for each year!

Source:  http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/2010/11/school-paperwork-storage.html

This is the system I plan to use to keep my kids' school work and art work organized.  I've already bought my plastic file bins and created labels for the hanging folders.  Now I just need to sort through those piles!  Stay tuned for the results in a future post :)

Please remember to pin from the original source for all of these lovely pictures!

For Day Twenty Nine, look at your current organizational system for your kids' creations.  Is it working?  Do you need to purge more?  If your system needs to be revamped, choose one of the tips in this post and get started on it.  It's a tough task but keep your focus on the memories and not the things.  Unless you have unlimited space, you won't be able to keep everything your kids ever bring home (and they won't want to take it all with them when they grow up!) so it's important to figure out how to manage and organize it all that will work for you.  Good luck!

{Note:  If you're getting overwhelmed with all the ideas in this series, please understand that is NOT my intention! :)  This series is designed for me to write every day for a month, not for you to completely organize your house in a month.  That thought overwhelms me!  So, feel free to skim and pin/bookmark these tips now and then come back later when you're ready to tackle a particular organizing project.  I'll add a button or tab to the blog at the end of the series that will make it easy for you to find all the posts.  Hope that takes some pressure off!}

Tomorrow I'll share some more DIY storage ideas.  I can't believe there are only 2 more days left in this series!  I look forward to sharing the remaining posts with you and hearing your tips too!

How do you organize your sentimental items?  What's the best organizing tip you've implemented?

Have a great day and happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the series:

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