Organize & Clean

Organizing and Storing Mementos

updated Jul 17, 2020
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Compared with the ease of organizing an office space, the task of processing and sorting mementos is actually a tough nut to crack. When working with clients, we frequently find that those hard-to-let-go personal trinkets are surprisingly hard to keep track of. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our all-time favorite ways to keep cherished memories accounted for and accessible.

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  • We keep a hanging file folder in our file tote for items like cards and family photos. Once the file folder is too thick to store, we process the contents and relocate them to our archive storage spot. Because it takes us at least six months to fill up our file folder, when the time comes to sort them, the items don’t have as much of a hold on us–therefore making the decision to toss or keep an easier one.
  • Instead of using a hanging file folder, one of our recent clients kept a small, decorative container on the shelf (super accessible). Anytime a new card came in the office it went directly into the bin. Just like our system, as soon as the container gets full, it’s time to relocate the mementos. Just don’t forget to process the contents so you’re not keeping items you don’t really need.
  • Our archive storage spot for mementos is at the very top of our closet. Because you’re probably only accessing these items once or twice a year, the container doesn’t need to live in your active space. Heavier containers are best kept on the floor or at knee or waist height for easier lifting and reaching
  • The more boundaries you can set for yourself, the better off you will be. Decide on a realistic sized container for all your cards, photos and memorabilia and stick to it. If you find that you’re running out of room, it’s time to process items or think of alternative ways to store.
  • Scanning photos and/or taking pictures of cumbersome items is the best way to decrease the physical amount of mementos while being able to hold onto them.
  • And don’t forget to label your containers with the proper year and/or contents so you can easily locate your prized possessions.

• Good Questions: Storing Mementos From Your Childhood?
• Store, Display or Scan: How Do You Keep Your Photographs?
• Organizing Photos

Image: Beth Zeigler