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Monday, February 09 2015

Have you heard of the concept of having a Memory Box?  I personally feel that everyone should have one (or a few).  Everyone goes through life and gathers fond memories of people they have met, places they have gone or things they have done.  You should have a designated place to store those memories, hence...A Memory Box.

The first time I created a Memory Box was back in 1998 following the passing of my husband the previous year.  To this day, it contains fond memories of photos, letters and other items I collected during our 15 year relationship.  I also created one for my son who was 7 at the time to contain his fond memories of his relationship with his father.  Both of us open up our boxes from time to time and go down Memory Lane together, reflecting on our special times with my late husband and his father.     

Memory Boxes are great, however, there are guidelines you should follow:

1. Store your own memories in your own box.  This box is not intended to be shared with others.  It is personal.  Moms often want to store their kids' memories along with their own in one box.  Keep in mind that you have your own memories of your kids and your kids have their own memories and they should be kept in separate Memory Boxes.  Do not co-mingle!  

2. Be selective.  Just like anything else that you keep, "everything cannot be your favorite".  Using an appropriate-sized memory box is great for setting boundaries as to how much you keep.  When a box gets too full, it is a sign that you are saving too much and you need to go through the box and eliminate what is not longer relevant.  Pick your favorites!

3. Do an annual review.  Contrary to popular belief, what was important at one point in your life might not be as important now. Your memories and emotional attachment to things change.  I have found that over the course of the years, what was once so important and relevant is not so much any more, and that's okay. This is especially true with children.  That macaroni art from Kindergarten was so amazing when it came through the door ten times that year, but now, your child is in 6th grade, and that macaroni art is not so incredible anymore - at least not all ten!  I highly suggest that you go through your Memory Box once a year and do a review.  (For kids in grade school, I recommend the end of the school term.) Make room for the new memories that you will gather in the coming year.     

4. Don't confuse a Memory Box with a random storage container.  Your Memory Box is not intended to be a place to put things that you don't know where else they should be stored.  It is not to be used as a catch all.  If you have different categories for memories such as I do (I have one strictly relating to my relationship with my late husband and another more current box of memories), that is fine.  Don't keep memories that evoke sad or bitter times in your life.  You want to be sure they are "positive memories" that evoke happy times in your life.  

I encourage you to create a Memory Box for you and every member of your family.  Store them in a place that is accessible for those times when you want to go down Memory Lane and relive those happy times in your life.  

Remember, it's a Memory Box, not a random storage container.  Fill your box with happy memories that you will enjoy for years to come!

Wishing you an organized week filled with fond memories!  

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  9 Comments  |  Email
I hav Memory Boxes for both of my kids and one for myself. And, yes--it's important to go through it once a year--they can fill up quickly! Great post, Audrey.
Posted by Stacey Agin Murray on 02/15/2015 - 09:11 PM
Super! Good job!
Posted by Audrey Cupo on 02/16/2015 - 08:46 AM
I have one memory box for paper and one for other things, and whenever one gets too full, I pull out stuff I no longer feel compelled to keep. I find that as I get older and have so many memories, I am less driven to hold on to tangible items so it's been a long time since I've added anything to either box.
Posted by Janet Barclay on 09/24/2015 - 12:51 PM
Thank you Stacey. My clients love the concept of memory boxes. They had no idea what to do with their stuff before then. I love the container concept to keep it all under control and set boundaries for how much you keep. Works like a charm. Janet, one box is usually sufficient for most people. I find some are more sentimental than others and have a harder time containing it all in one box. So, I coach them on it.
Posted by Audrey on 09/24/2015 - 03:01 PM
Great article Audrey! Several years ago I went through 4 large Rubbermaid bins and reduced the contents to 2 small memory boxes. And I haven't looked in them since. Maybe I don't need them at all.
Posted by Moreen Torpy on 10/14/2015 - 05:30 PM
Thanks Moreen. It is great that you reduced your four bins down to two small memory boxes. However, the first flag is "several years ago". I always recommend that you "visit" with your memory boxes every year. Believe it or not, your connection to your memories changes as time goes on and you will find that some of those items don't have the same connection to you and you can let them go.
Posted by Audrey on 10/14/2015 - 05:37 PM
Always a great idea to limit your memory box, great post. We all have our own separate memory boxes, some are fuller than others!!!
Posted by Jill Robson on 10/15/2015 - 12:45 PM
Jill, I always recommend that each member of the family have their own memory box. Some are more sentimental than others so some boxes will be more full, but the box does set a boundary which can be helpful.
Posted by Audrey on 10/15/2015 - 02:59 PM
Thanks for submitting this helpful post to the POBC! I have found lovely decorative boxes at Dollar General. One in particular contains some of the special cards I received during a difficult time in my life. They are treasures to me!! Clients seem to be relieved that they actually don't have to keep everything. :)
Posted by Olive Wagar on 10/23/2015 - 06:20 PM

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