Out of Box and Into the Spotlight: Give Your Memories a Second Life
A question we are often asked is what to do with keepsakes and memorabilia. The answer depends on the particular item and one’s individual preference. Particularly valuable or irreplaceable items should be stored properly in acid-free tissue paper or bags and archival boxes to minimize wear. For most keepsakes, I am a proponent of having meaningful items on display for everyday enjoyment.
Time speeds by too quickly to keep the treasures that make you smile, remind you of fabulous events and special people, in a box, dark closet, basement or attic. Let your memories live again and see the light of day. Allow them be enjoyed, talked about and evoke laughter. Let them share your precious stories.
Implement a Seasonal Swap. Treat keepsakes like seasonal décor and rotate items throughout the year. Much like you might use certain family heirlooms during special holidays; why not do the same with items that aren’t necessarily holiday-specific? Sometimes generic keepsakes are forgotten about because they aren’t stored with other seasonal items as we do with holiday décor. Consider using a mug purchased to commemorate a special trip during the season that you took the trip for example? Use linens or a tea set passed down from your grandmother during a Mother’s Day meal? Or display the clay cornucopia your daughter made for Thanksgiving 1985 on your kitchen windowsill during the fall season. Don’t think of it as a big ordeal of going through and sorting all your keepsakes to find just the right thing. Start with opening just one box of keepsakes and spending 15 minutes choosing three things to display on a mantle, bookshelf or use for a family meal in the next few months. Then when the current season changes, let it be a reminder to swap those three items out for others and enjoy!
Get Inspired and be Creative. For those treasures you’d like to spend more time with, carve out more time for planning and execution for creative ways to enjoy memorabilia for years to come. Below are some creative ideas to honor those cherished memories:
Create a tiny world of memories by placing items from a particular trip or event into a decorative jar to revisit a special memory for a few moments anytime you pass by. You can paint wooden boxes, label the outside and keep all of the items from a trip or event within. Display the boxes from multiples trips on a shelf to remind yourself to look inside and reminisce from time to time.
Its amazing how placing items in individual cubbies, shelves or sections give an instant look or order and visual appeal. Do this with any collection you’d like out of a box, closet or cupboard and out to display.
Use an interesting wall display to showcase collections of small meaningful items. Use an adhesive to keep each in place and cover the surface with Plexiglas and decorative brackets to hold the items in place and dust free.
Any flat item can become interesting wall art simply by taking it to be scanned, enlarged and printed. A vintage stamped envelope, matchbook, map, recipe card or playing card from a special deck. The possibilities are endless--just frame it and hang it.
Have a stuffed animal sewn from fabric from a loved one’s shirt. Create a blanket or quilt out of meaningful fabrics or t-shirts.
Transfer your child’s drawings onto fabric by scanning, printing into black and white and tracing with a fabric pen onto a neutral solid fabric. Then create a blanket or duvet out of the personalized fabric. Shrink scanned artwork into a consistent size to frame multiple artwork replicas into one frame. This creates a clean look out of different sized originals from various mediums.
You can frame just about anything that is slim enough. A favorite baby clothing item, pressed flowers from your garden, keys from places you’ve lived, your grandfather’s timepiece or grandmother’s locket. Shadow boxes can be found in various sizes to showcase your sentimental items as a piece of art.
Our memories are precious and our experiences shape us into the individuals we are today. Get creative or just begin a rotation to honor your meaningful moments. Dust off your keepsakes and give them a place of honor and value for yourself and others to enjoy.
Wondering what to do with all the artwork, awards and schoolwork from your children? Whether it is from this afternoon’s school project or a 30-year-old crayon portrait of the family pet, its simple…Artkive it! Artkive is a quick way to archive children’s artwork. Just set the number of children and their ages, take a photo of the artwork, set the date it was made and then file it under the appropriate child. The service then stores all the artwork on the cloud to be preserved as long as you choose. You can even quickly share it with others or have a book printed with just a few clicks. What a great way to preserve and enjoy kid’s artwork well after it’s display time on the fridge is expired. Artkive can also be used for things other than kids’ paper keepsakes; anything that you’re happy keeping a digital version of or would like to turn into a printed book works too! Handwritten family recipes, love letters, notes between friends, awards or certificates or a mix of them all. What a great way to display the items that tell your story!
Enjoy the journey down memory lane.
Secrets of Getting Organized!
The Spring Issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Secrets of Getting Organized is full of great organizing ideas, including the "Entertainment Station" that features the work of Kate Deppa and Laura Leist.
To read the entire article, you can click on the cover of the magazine and read about how a family with two young sons found their media center cabinet quickly became a jumble of DVD's, video games, and building blocks. Once the boys use a game or movie, it usually didn't make it back into that cabinet. Read more about how we helped to "eliminate" that problem.
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