As I am going through and organizing things around our house, one of the monsterous tasks I’ve tackled is that of the artwork and certificates and other memorabalia my daughters have accumulated in their very short years of life.
It’s amazing how many drawings of princesses one five year old can produce in the course of a month!
I try to save extra special drawings, writings, and certificates they have earned, but it is impossible to save them all. Of course, whatever is tossed away is inevitably found by one or both of my children, plucked from the trash can, and given to me, the giver wearing an expression of pure pain on her face. “Why did you throw this away? I made this for you!”
The pangs of guilt! Ah, so difficult . . .
The items that I really do want to keep – for instance, special drawings, like my daughter’s first picture that really resembled, well, something, or my daughter’s first attempt at writing her name or my name or I love you – need to be kept somewhere special, so they aren’t lost in one of our various moves – or just over the course of time.
I’ve been organizing the kids’ writings and drawings and special trinkets this month and thought I would share a few ideas with you, as I am sure you are in need of, or already considering, doing the same.
- Purchase a large plastic tub with a lid. I now have one for each daughter and one for myself. Our names have been placed on the outside with my label maker, so I know where each piece should go. The items that my daughters earn – tball certificates and completion diplomas from pre-k and gymnastics, go into their respective tubs. The items they make for me, such as special pictures and cards, are placed in mine. Photographs go into the tub belonging to whomever is in that picture.
- Organize by year. I’ve found this recently, since most of the items up until this time have simply been placed inside the tub at random – when I get a chance. Now I’m placing the items into folders marked with the year, so that as the time goes by – we will have 18 years with them living at home – I will be able to flip through a yearly folder to see what they’ve done. Also, this takes the guesswork out of what happened at what point in our life. Already I’m confused at times when I look at photographs that are missing dates. I’m hoping this helps.
- Keep old planners as well. I write everything in my planner, and so I’ve been placing these into my tub. It’s great to go back over a year and find out what we did during that time – I remember old play dates, trips to the zoo, birthday parties I thought I would never forget but, of course, did. Reading these is much like looking over a journal, or history, of our lives.
- Keep a journal. I do this as well, one for each girl, in which I write down special events and dates and things we have done. I might only write in them once a month, but when I do have time and I sit down and write I write out everything that has happened since the last time I wrote. I have journals from when my first daughter was born, and it is great to see what we were doing – and what I was so proud of – during that time.
- Print those pictures! It’s great to have digital pictures, but how often do you sit at your computer and look at them? Remember when pictures were all placed on film, and you could hold them in your hands whenever you wanted to reminisce? I sit down with my girls from time to time and we go through old pictures and they love this. I still enjoy looking at pictures of when I was a child – it brings back fond memories. So, even if you take a ton of digital prints, make sure you get them put on film at some point as well.