Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keepsakes And Treasures

We are by no means hoarders in our house thankfully, but lately, I've felt an overwhelming desire and need to further simplify, declutter and sort through anything and everything around our nest, partly due to my desire to start off the new year on a clean and tidy note, partly due to my attempts to create some more storage space as I slowly work on our home office makeover.  Over the weekend it was my keepsakes box that I attacked.

As the girls napped and Paul and I stayed indoors trying to keep cool, I sat down with its contents and poured over each and every letter, invite and treasure that I had saved over the years.  It was a bit of a trip down memory lane as I reminisced over emails from when I was 19 and Paul and I had first started dating, sweet quotes about life and words of wisdom my uni friends and I used to exchange, maps and tickets from past holidays, postcards from loved ones' travels, invitations to weddings and milestone birthdays as well as service booklets from the funerals of those no longer with us.  Each one holding a special memory.  Each one precious.

With storage space in our home lacking though, I had to decide which keepsakes still held meaning for me  as my 'yardstick' for what I consider to be personal treasures has changed a bit over time. Most contents of my box remained.  However when it came to invites and other pieces from various celebrations, I kept only those of immediate family and close friends, rather than holding onto every place setting card, service booklet, thank you note and menu from every wedding we've ever attended. My keepsake box needs to make way for new treasures now like maternity hospital tags, handmade Mother's Day trinkets and mementos of schooling milestones.

Next up, I'm tackling my box of greeting cards...I'm not sure how I'll quite decide which ones become keepers among that collection.  Back when Dad died and we had to sort through his possessions, we came across a box of pretty much every card my sister and I had ever given him, including the handmade clay and honky nut pencil cup I'd made for him as a four year old way back in kindergarten. I have a feeling that my girls will be faced with a similar situation one day when they have to sort through my things...  

I'm curious to know how you decide which keepsakes to hold onto... Are you a hoarder?  Which items make it into your keepsake box?

The metal chest above stores all of my beloved keepsakes from Dad - I'll save the story of it for another post...


  1. I always feel the urge to de-clutter and further simplify at the beginning of the year too Amanda. I have a couple of boxes from my past in the shed with contents like you describe and that is why they are still in the shed as I honestly don't know how to decide what to keep and what to throw out. Although I bet if I went through them now that I have a family of my own it would be quite obvious what is no longer considered a 'treasure'. I have a habit of holding onto Xmas cards in a bundle just until the following year and then I throw them out at Christmas time when the new ones come in. Birthday cards given to the kids are actually discarded after a decent amount of time has passed (except birth cards and maybe 1st b'day). Sounds a bit ruthless. Ditto with our birthday cards unless it's from a treasured friend or has some lovely words in them I throw them away after they've had their time on the mantel :-) I keep every single thing the kids make or give to me - as for all the stuff they bring home from school, I am still working on a good system for that. I love your metal chest and bet there's some precious mementos in there. Mel xx

    1. I think we have similar de-cluttering methods Mel :) Christmas cards go into my decorations box until the following Christmas, cards for the girls are only kept if they have special words in them or are from their 1st birthdays or when they were born. I haven't been made a lot by Grace just yet but anything she makes me for Mother's Day or Christmas or birthdays will become treasures for sure :)

  2. I can be a bit of a hoarder. Chris not so much...so he has taught me to be more ruthless. I too, feel a desire {each year...the older I get} to DECLUTTER and SIMPLIFY!!! So I do big clean outs regularly. I still have 2 big boxes under the stairs for my childhood/teenage memories and each Ryder and Ella have a 'special box' where I store their art or achievements etc...and I'm trying not to have any more 'special boxes' over that. So I have to be ruthless.
    I'm a bit of a memory hoarder though. So is my Dad. If something triggers a happy memory - I don't want to get rid of it! If it brings you joy or beauty....keep it :)
    I like hearing about your Dad, Amanda.

    1. I think the trick to keeping down the clutter is definitely to limit the space you allocate for things like you say. At the moment my greeting cards are all in one big box, and for now that's okay. But as the box begins to fill over the years, then I'll have to re-assess its contents and be a bit more ruthless about what fits in to keep it down to 'just one box'. Each of my girls have two boxes at the top of their wardrobes for keepsakes and cards.

      I like sharing things about Dad too... he was so genuine and kind-hearted...

  3. I'm doing this at the moment too
    I've just sorted out the girls school boxes (art works, school books etc) - it breaks my heart when I throw any of it away but there's already SO much! And Jack hasn't even really started yet.

    I've put a couple of boxes of cards/letters/etc out to sort through as well..but can't find the energy yet
    Good luck!

  4. Oh my gosh I am such a hoarder - I just can't throw those sorts of things out. Plus, when it come to my art, I tend to keep anything I find interesting, thinking that I may use it in a piece of art. It's a terrible excise to hoard and I know it drives Lyndon nuts, but that's just me :)

  5. i can't help myself in keeping 'stuff' like that too! wedding place setting cards and ticket stubs and letters... and since moving i've gone through and 'cleaned' the boxes...but i think like you i really need to do a proper clean. i like the way you've brought up making way for the family keepsakes from your children. it's a lovely way to help yourself do a thorough clean!

    make sure you keep the the covers of the beautiful cards for the girls to make a collage or for art activities...my mum used to do that for me as a girl and i loved it! (especially all the glitter cards...haha, girls don't change do they?)

  6. I am a keeper of memories. I recently found a box with the little quotes from baci chocolates and swing tags from all the different labels of clothes I had bought. Hahah! They didn't meet my new shortlist. Currently I have a 'school' keeepsake box full of cards from parents, class photos and special drawings and a 'Keenan' box with cards and notes and ticket stubs etc of things we have done together.

  7. I do love to keep things too, I find it difficult to throw things out although I am better than I used to be at sorting what to keep and what to throw. The girls each have a box in their room with certificates and things from when they were babies. I also have a box for them too with artwork and letters they've written, choosing mindfully what to keep. As they get older though the pictures do get less so I often keep most that I am given or take a photo. Sadly when I was younger I threw out a tin full of letters my friends and I wrote to each other in highschool and now I regret it very much, I really wish I still had them. I look forward to sharing one day about your special keepsakes from you Dad. xx

  8. Not a hoarder really but I do like to have keepsake boxes. I keep special cards from hubby and parents but not all of them! xx

  9. It's so hard to decide what to keep and what can be let go. At least you have a beautiful box to keep them in xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)


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