Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Memorabilia Three-Step

Memorabilia can very quickly overwhelm us if we don’t have a place to put it and a plan to process it. Along with organizing my photos in my Library of Memories system, I’ve developed a three step process for handling memorabilia, basically three times that I “touch” the memorabilia: (1) when it comes in the house, (2) when I am slipping monthly or seasonal photos into storage binders, and (3) at the end of the year.

STEP 1: When memorabilia comes into the house, it is important to have some place for it to go to avoid having piles of it scattered everywhere. My memorabilia goes into one of three places:

1. Cultural Memorabilia Box – some items go straight into my Cultural Memorabilia Box. These are items that are not related to a specific event, but are more general everyday life type items like receipts, clothing tags, advertisements, candy wrappers, etc.

2. Memorabilia Accordion File – this box has sections for each month of the year. I simply drop any memorabilia that I want to keep behind the slot for that month.

3. On Display – I do like to simply display some memorabilia. For example, I display Playbills and Programs from various theatre productions and events in an old magazine rack that belonged to my hubby’s grandmother. I enjoy seeing these items and being reminded of the various shows we’ve seen on Broadway or in London as well as my nieces’ dance recitals and community theatre productions.

STEP 2: I process the monthly memorabilia at the same time that I am slipping newly printed photos into my storage binder. In fact, I have this step listed on my Digital Workflow so I don’t forget about it. I take everything out from behind the monthly tab, sort it all out, and decide where it needs to go.

1. Memorabilia File Box – the items I want to scrap go into a File Box that has files labeled by year. I include a sticky note in my Storage Binder with the photos reminding myself that I have memorabilia to go along with the photos. I include smaller pieces of memorabilia right in my Storage Binders with the photos.

2. Any items that I want to keep but not scrap, I leave in the Memorabilia Accordion File.

STEP 3: At the end of each year, I clean out the Memorabilia Accordion File. I go through all the memorabilia that is left in the file and either:

1. Purge it right into the circular file.

2. Move it to a yearly folder in my Permanent Memorabilia Box that I have stored in my craft room closet. This would be my “Stuff that Matters” box. I try to be very selective about what goes into this box as these are items that I’m not planning to use or scrap but want to keep for sentimental reasons.

I have to confess that I truly enjoy saving memorabilia, so having a system in place to deal with it is very important for me. Otherwise I could have items scattered everywhere and/or forget to use the items I’ve saved for a scrapbook page. There are so many ways to use memorabilia in scrapbooking. If you’d like to see some of my layouts with memorabilia, check out this post.


  1. You are so organized! I have a system that works for me too, when it comes to the memorabilia. I see a Lion King program.....oh, I loved that show. So amazing! And hard to describe to anyone that hasn't seen it. The program was pretty big so I never scrapbooked mine. But I know where to find it! :)

  2. I agree with Tammy! You are very organized Melissa and you always have such good tips!

  3. This one really spoke to me today! I have been a fan of collecting memorabilia since I was a little girl - I've got a lot! I really like your suggestion of an accordian file to keep it in. I'll be looking into that idea, thank you!

  4. I bow to your organizational skills, oh to have all mine filed away like that, someday, i hope :)


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