A Simple Way to Organize Sentimental Items

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I am such a sentimental person that I hate to even throw away the gift tags from Christmas presents I’ve received. My husband is the complete opposite and has been known to finish reading a card as he drops it into the trash can.

Most of you probably live somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, so here’s a simple way I’ve found to organize my sentimental items!

Sentimental items could be things like:

  • birthday and anniversary cards
  • mementos from trips and events
  • artwork, school projects and papers from your children

While I love the idea of creating binders for different categories and preserving cards in page protectors, I know I won’t maintain a system like that. Here’s what I’ve done – I purchased several decorative boxes from Dollar General (all under $8!) to store all my items. I love that they can double as decor and don’t have to be hidden away like an ugly plastic bin.

Here are the different categories of my keepsakes:

  • childhood mementos: cards, notes and various papers that I’ve hung on to all these years
  • cards from friends, blog readers and blogging buddies
  • cards and gift tags (yep) from my family
  • cards, notes and mementos from Paul

I’d like to say that I immediately put items in their proper boxes, but the truth is that I keep a little stack on a shelf in my home office. Every so often I sort the stack and put them away.

Even with a large stack, it only takes a few minutes. I used my handy label maker to label the back of the boxes for easy reference!

You can find these boxes at stores like Home Goods or TJ Maxx, but I love the price and the selection at Dollar General. I’ve also used a box like this to contain a care package-type gift, and it was a really nice alternative to a gift basket!

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If you want even more organization inspiration, click the Organization tab at the top of my site for a complete index of all the organizing projects on the blog!


12 thoughts on “A Simple Way to Organize Sentimental Items

  1. I lean more towards Paul. I save kid art with hand or foot prints on it and really unique or special pieces. Everything else goes after being enjoyed for a bit. I will also save sweet handwritten things. I’ve got a bin full of handwritten cards or letters from friends and family. I just spotted it today in our storage room and was reminded that I needed to clean it out/organize it again. I like your system and need to work on a better filing system for each of my kids.


  2. Great idea! I love that the boxes are cute, so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot in closet to store them!


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