Mementos. Such a great word that brings visions of letters from loved ones, various recognitions of achievements, and children’s artwork. My 25 year old was home for a week long vacation and given that her mother is a professional organizer, thought it was time for her to review her memento box and pair things down. Confession: she actually has two memento boxes. Plus, I wanted to clear the attic in preparation for putting our house on the market and downsizing. I guess all the downsizing I am doing for others inspired me to get going and do it for myself!

MementosWe started with the bin from the early years and found special treasures; notes from great grandmother, contest that colleagues had guessing the weight of the soon to be born baby, special family drawings and notes written to Mom and Dad telling us how much she loved us. The process to get through one small box was longer than expected and the emotions ranged from laughing so hard we were crying to “Mom, why did you save this?” We all sat around the kitchen floor and what started as a small project for one person soon became a family endeavor with everyone laughing and sharing.

IMG_1566The immediate discards were any school worksheets, biography projects, drawings of sunsets etc. The savers were personal letters written from grandparents, a few family drawings, and funny notes. Special recognitions went right into the trash – all those trophies, gone! The box that was 17” x 14” was whittled down to contents that filled a box slightly larger than a shoe box. We took lots of pictures, sent pictures to aunts, nieces and grandparents, and even sent a picture to a friend whose son had sent a valentine to my daughter and a friend who had written a special pre-birth note. We shared, and I will always remember that grey Saturday afternoon filled with such special memories. Mementos are your friend, and cherish the special ones. Just be judicious in what you do decide to save for your grey Saturday afternoon. Our rule of thumb is one memento box per person.