see all cities »


Kids and keepsakes: How to Preserve What Matters

A project I am determined to tackle before spring is the mountain of baby items we still have in the house.  And not just baby gear –  larger items are easier to part with and can be sold used, passed along to other families, or donated.

No, what I need to tackle now is the enormous amount of clothing and keepsakes we have been storing since they kids were little. At first I kept everything in case we decided to have more kids. It was more practical to save it all to be reused later on, but being past that now puts us in the situation of a giant purge.

Most of the clothing I will be able to let go of without much emotion.  Once the kids get old enough to be actually wearing out clothing, the pieces have far less sentimental value.  Toddler jeans with nearly worn knees don’t pull nearly the heartstrings that an infant sleeper or coming home outfit does.  But of course, there is still a time investment involved in this project – when on earth will I have time to go through and sort the items?  Certainly there are items from each child I will want to save – first outfits, a tiny pair of socks, a few meaningful pieces that were bought while I was expecting, or special gifts.  I will try to use some self control and only save what is really important.

More difficult will be going through some of the random items I have saved from when each of our kids were babies.  I have newspapers from the days they were born, hospital bracelets, cards from family and friends.  I have notes scribbled on tiny pages of memories and milestones.  A small blanket crocheted by an auntie.  And beyond the baby years, I have early art projects, preschool treasures and photos.

What to do? As always, when looking for inspiration from those who have already gone down a path I am facing, I turned to Pinterest.  Imagine my delight to find all kinds of projects to help store keepsakes, sort treasures, and preserve memories.

Here are some of my favourites:

A memory box of quotes to save all those precious things kids say.

Organized kids’ memory boxes to safely hold all that matters each year.

Use binders as kids’ memory books to hold artwork and projects.

Create an email address for each child and use the inbox to send photos, quotes, and memories.

Simply use a dayplanner to record memories for each child to save in chronological order.

Create a love box to save love notes and special memories.

Make a summer box to save summer vacation memories.

Larger, traditional file boxes in bright colours can be used to save awkwardly shaped keepsakes.

If you have a hard time parting with baby clothing or blankets, create a memory quilt or take the items to someone who can make it for you. Then either use it in your child’s room, or save it for them when they grow up.

If a quilt doesn’t appeal, or you love to sew and want to keep creating, try using clothing items for a project like these floor pillows.

Want more inspiration?  Here are 20 memory keeping ideas that will help you preserve photos, records, memories and more.

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

4 Responses to “Kids and keepsakes: How to Preserve What Matters”

S MacIver

Yes It takes time and commitment as well as organization. In the meantime make sure things have notes with them in case you get overwhelmed later … which kid, which order, dates and so on will save time and prevent confusion/mixup later. I wish you well. O, yes, first get more rest if you can. S.


    Jen Taylor

    Such a great reminder – thanks for your comment. Especially in families with more than one girl or boy, there’s always the chance that you’ll tuck away something special only to pull it out in a few years and wonder who exactly it belonged to. A small note tucked in with the more obscure items would be very helpful years from now, and especially for the kids themselves when they are much older.

Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments

I love the idea of creating an email address for each child! I also like to take pictures of their artwork and put it into a photo book (if I every get around to finishing them!).


    Jen Taylor

    Yes! I loved the email idea too, because it aligns so well with my typical habits. In the days before Pinterest, I would often email myself links to things I found interesting, even if they were home designs or other ideas. I would also email photos or save them in folders. Imagine an email account where you had done this over time? Why didn’t I think of this eight years ago?!??!

Leave a Reply