memento |məˈmenˌtō|noun (pl. mementos or mementoes) an object kept as a reminder or souvenir of a person or event: you can purchase a memento of your visit.

The definition of memento gives us an important reminder–if you can’t actually remember what the souvenir was from or what it was supposed to represent, by all means–donate it. But what about the mementos you do want to keep?

  1. I like to first ask myself why I am keeping something. I usually talk out loud and rationalize the importance of an item. I swear, it really does help make things crystal clear.
  2. The other thing that is super helpful with mementos is the passage of time. In a newsletter that went out last month, we asked Audrey Woolen of Urbanic to tell us how she deals with memorabilia. It was a fabulous tip and you can read more about it here. But in a nutshell, Audrey said that she keeps an empty box in her desk and as mementos come into her life, she tosses them in this box. When it fills up, she revisits them and only keeps the most special items.
  3. I also like to let space dictate memorabilia storage. If you don’t have a ton of room, you don’t have the luxury to keep lots of stuff. It’s similar to a credit card. If you don’t have a huge maximum, you are limited in what you can spend. If you go over your limit, you might be penalized. Same with storing more than you have room for. Clutter causes a whole host of problems like lost time, money while creating a ton of frustration and overwhelm. And there is not one thing to like about that!
  4. On the other hand, if you do have a lot of room, that’s not to say you should fill it up with tons of memorabilia. I would suggest you still create a storage boundary for yourself such as a shelf or two and don’t go over it.
  5. Setting some ground rules is also helpful. One of my ground rules for cards is, if it’s a card without writing or sentiment, to the recycling bin it goes. If it involves a picture (such as a holiday card) I’ll take a pic of the photo and use that as caller ID for that individual.
  6. For storage, I love to repurpose a fancy shoe box or use a simple plastic bin like this one from The Container Store. If the memento is of an archival state, you might want to slip it into an archival sleeve or use a special box that will keep it as safe as possible from the elements.

Remember, your mementos are for you to enjoy and if you have a surplus of stuff that only brings you feelings of overwhelm and despair, the souvenirs aren’t doing their job. Keep only the best of the best and you’ll be in memento heaven. Not to be confused with Mentos heaven. Because I always confuse mentos with mementos. #always

So tell me, what’s a ground rule you might set to deal with mementos from now on?

BNeatoBar2c_BcmykAbout this blog: Space. Finding more of it isn’t always easy. That’s why each Wednesday at Bneato Bar, we try our darndest to give you more space all while helping you K.I.T. (aka keep it together).

image via Emma Moore on Etsy

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