Organizing memories:  making keepsake notebooks & memory bins

Disclaimer: If you love to scrapbook the official, correct way, then this isn’t for you. Carry on.  You’re doing a great job!  If you love the thought of having scrapbooks for your children’s memories but don’t have the time, talent, or budget for the supplies, then this is for you!Today I’m sharing how I organize keepsakes and memories for my 4 boys. This system is tried and true, as I’ve done it this way for 11 years and wouldn’t change a thing.

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There are three super-simple steps to this process:  Find Supplies, Gather, Upkeep.

1.  find supplies for your system

I use 3-ring notebooks for paper keepsakes and plastic boxes with lids (Memory Bin) for larger items.What do I put in the 3-ring notebook (“Keepsake Notebook”)?

  • school work
  • artwork
  • pictures
  • journaling pages (cute sayings; favorite food, color, toy at each age)
  • clear sleeves filled with small keepsakes, ticket stubs, brochures from trips
  • another option:  file box with folders by year or grade

What’s the Memory Bin for?

  • keepsake baby outfits or blankets
  • larger souvenirs
  • family heirlooms or gifts for when they’re older
  • key to choosing box:  practical & durable, not necessarily pretty

2.  Gather

Designate a landing spot to put all the papers, artwork, and keepsakes you want to save.A couple times a year go through your pile of memorabilia, file and store.  Your kids can help you decide what they want to keep.

Print photos a couple times a year to include in the notebook.

3.  Upkeep

Repeat the gather step as often as makes sense for you. I used to do it 2-3 times per year, now it’s more like 1-2 times per year.  Whatever works.  Don’t be a slave to any organizing system — make it work for you!It’s definitely a lot of fun to get the Keepsake Notebooks out around birthdays.  My kids love to look through books that are all about their lives.And when my kids leave the nest,  it will be freeing to be able to hand them their Memory Bins & notebooks!

How do you organize all those keepsakes in your home?

DIY Yo Yo Wreath

Several months ago I was thrilled to find a big bag of vintage yo-yo’s at a thrift store!  I didn’t really know what I would do with them, but I scooped them up anyway.  
Their vintage character can never be fully reproduced.  Lovely.
I could have made a pillow top or small blanket.  Maybe that will come, but it sounded like too much work at the moment.   For easy vintage charm that just required a few simple steps, I made Yo-Yo Wreaths!  And you can too!  Even if you don’t find vintage yo-yo’s at your thrift store, they’re easy to make.  Keep reading…
But before I show you how I made these simple wreaths, take a look at the finished product to get your inspiration flowing.
Super simple steps:Make your yo-yo’s
Prepare your wreath base
Glue yo-yo’s to wreath base
Add buttons (optional)
Hang & enjoy!
No vintage yo-yo’s?  No problem.  Follow this great tutorial to make your own.  Best of all, you can up cycle fabric and clothing just like our great-grandma’s would have to make these original yo-yo’s.  No sense in spending money on this project if you don’t have to!  No sewing machine required, either.  Yo-yo’s are hand-stitched, and easy enough for your kids to try this summer while fighting boredom 🙂  I also like to take projects like this to work on during long car trips.
Wreath bases can be whatever you want.  For one, I used a regular grapevine wreath.  For another, I used a cheap frame from the thrift store that I painted first.  This gray wreath was simply spray painted.  Then, I wrapped some fabric and lace scraps on one section to add interest and to give the yo-yo’s a flatter base to be glued onto.
Finally, I raided my button stash and added some right in the center of the yo-yo.  They look a little more like flowers now.
Will you be trying your hand at making some yo-yo’s?
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