7 Tips for Organizing Your Grandkids' Sentimental Items

Get a house full of memories organized, fast

By Barbara Reich

Everything your grandchildren give and make for you is precious. And you want to keep it all, but it’s just not realistic or necessary, especially when new memories are being made every day. Knowing what to hold and what to throw out is difficult, but if you pick the most sentimental items – the ones that provide you the sweetest memories - you can store them, display them, and feel good about it.

Start by asking yourself if your grandchild made the item with her own two hands. If she didn’t, it can and should be tossed. There are exceptions, though: Save anything that speaks to who your grandchild is at a specific age, and save anything that reminds you of a specific event.

Once you’ve decided what’s worth keeping, follow these tips for storage:

1. Purchase a keepsake box for each grandchild.

Make sure that they are devoid of acids and chemicals that can destroy your sentimental items. Now, whenever you receive a card or picture from your grandchild, you’ll have a place to store it.

2. Consider creating a photo book online.

These will store your favorite photos of your grandchildren. It can be done at iPhoto, Shutterfly, and other similar websites. This is far easier than printing out pictures, buying an album, and then placing pictures in the album.

3. Frame your best photos in similar frames.

They don’t have to match exactly, but they should relate to each other. Instead of adding a new frame every time there’s a new picture you like, swap some of the older pictures for more recent ones. This helps avoid “picture frame clutter.”

4. Take pictures of your grandchild with larger art projects and gifts.

Then, keep the pictures and then toss the items themselves. The memories will last forever without you having to store it.

5. Make clothing, ties and blankets into a keepsake quilt.

If you’re not up to the task, there are several websites now that provide this service.

6. Store sentimental toys or frequently used items in clear drawers.

Label each drawer, and use them when your grandchildren come to visit.

7. Have a bulletin board for each child.

They can use these to display any artwork that they make or pictures that they take while visiting. Every time they come over, they can change the boards around. This gives everyone their own personal space in your house.

Barbara Reich is a professional organizer based in New York, NY. Her tough love approach turns organization and clutter from chore to lifestyle. To find more tips from Barbara, please visit her Facebook page or her website, www.resourcefulconsultants.com.

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