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?