Thursday, August 26, 2010

Honoring the Sentimental Stuff by Creating a Memory Box

pet / dog keepsake box

Cherished mementos don't always fit in an album. -- Country Living

And, as Cynthia Friedlob noted in commenting on my recent memorabilia post:
Not everything of value needs to be displayed in order to be honored. A "treasure box" that is opened periodically so that the contents can be enjoyed can be a good choice for keeping some of the sentimental stuff, too.
I personally have a memory box that has things like a birthday card a college friend wrote to me on a napkin - she was a harried waitress as well as a student, and didn't get around to buying a card. My box also includes a bit of handmade lace, now yellowed, but still precious because of the story behind it.

If you'd like to create a memory box - also called a keepsake box or a treasure box - you may want to invest in a box specifically designed to preserve textiles, papers, or whatever; Gaylord, Hollinger Metal Edge and Light Impressions are companies selling such boxes.

Julia over on the Unclutterer forums is taking this approach:
I am ... "building" two small memory boxes, one for each parent - Dad's is a cigar box, Mom's another small cedar box my grandmother kept for needlework supplies. Dad's contains a few old hand tools, his shaving mug, a set of keys, his pocket knife.
And, of course, a number of folks sell a wide range of memory boxes, many of whose archival qualities I can't attest to. But The Memory Keepers - which sells a wide range of customized boxes, including the one at the top of this post - indicates the company's boxes are made from "acid-free quality board." The company has boxes for weddings, graduations, vacations, and more.

baby keepsake box

Baby keepsake boxes are very popular. This cute one is by Swiss Batiste; the company has a number of other designs, too. The Memory Shelf, in Australia, also has some nice memory boxes, which are "made from archival grade plastic which has been tested by the Image Permanence Institute in Rochester, New York and passed the stringent Photographic Activity Test (PAT)." And The Memory Keepers, mentioned earlier, also has boxes with a baby theme.

wood memory box

This memory box, from Laurie Rohner Studio (and sold on Laurie's Etsy shop) is made from pine - and painted, varnished, and waxed.

heart-shaped treasure box

And then there are the pewter treasure boxes made by Vilmain. The first one that caught my eye was the "He loves me" box sold by Uncommon Goods, but this heart-shaped treasure box looks nice, too - although the shape is less practical for storage.

And, of course, you could use almost any type of attractive box you wanted to, and call it a "memory box."


Marcie Lovett said...

While I encourage my clients to get rid of clutter, there are going to be sentimental items that are meaningful to them that need to be housed somewhere. I like the idea of a memory box and I have one, too.

Mine is a small paper hatbox where I keep letters that I like to look through once in a while. Although the box is pretty, it's not displayed, just tucked up on a high shelf in the closet, ready for when I'm in a sentimental mood.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

These are all lovely, Jeri! I particularly like the one made by Laurie Rohner. And Light Impressions is one of my favorite sources for safe storage supplies -- photos, papers, textiles. I get distressed when I think of photos and letters tossed in a plain ol' shoebox or a quilt in a cardboard box from a moving company!

Thanks for posting and thanks for the mention.

Jeri Dansky said...

Marcie, I think the idea of a memory box was one of the best suggestions I gave to one particular client!

Cynthia, the photo (print) storage boxes I use came from Light Impressions. I've seen more recommendation for their products than for those of any other company - although other companies do also have some fine products.

patti said...

i am warming more and more to the idea of memory boxes.
they are a lovely and practical way to preserve small quantities of personal, precious ephemera and other objects.