What is a memory box?
A memory box (also known as a ‘keepsake box’ or ‘sentimental box’) is a container which holds things that are very special to you. It might include precious photos, favourite music, letters, art, cuddly toys, jewellery, perfume - to name but a few!
The objects it contains should remind you of places, people, events in your life which have brought your happiness. These are items which, when you take them out of your box to look at, bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.
Making your memory box
Everyone deserves to have a memory box in their life. We always recommend to our clients that a specific and separate box is created for each family member.
A memory box can be as simple or luxurious as you like. It can be made of any material e.g. wood, plastic, metal. You could use a shoe box, biscuit tin or gift box and leave it as it is or decorate it.
Consider where you are going to store your box. This will also help determine what size of box you choose. Will you keep it at the top of a wardrobe or under a bed? Or will it be on display on a shelf or table? We recommend choosing a spot which is dry and warm and a box made of a hard-wearing material. This will help avoid damage to your box.
What goes into a memory box?
Memory boxes are great for those belongings which you love but do not necessarily want on display in your home. A memory box gives them a specific place to live. Otherwise, these items tend to just end up as piles of clutter around your home.
It’s important to remember that your memory box is a snapshot of your most precious memories. Therefore, you need to reflect on which items deserve a place in your box. What items bring a smile to your face and those positive memories flooding back?
This will involve decision-making that may feel difficult at first but we promise it does get easier! Comparing items is helpful. For example, instead of keeping every birthday card you’ve ever received, choose those which contain the most special messages or are really funny.
Consider how many objects you need to remember each special person or event in your life. For example, an amazing holiday may only need a couple of photos to bring the memories flooding back. You could keep a sample of perfume that reminds you of someone special instead of other items which don't really evoke memories of them. Smell is a great way to bring back vivid memories.
When you add things to the box, add a note to yourself about why each thing is important to you. This way you always have a reminder of why you included them. Luggage labels are good for items which aren’t so easy to label!
The premise of decluttering is the same for deciding what goes in your memory box. It is about choosing to keep the things that are most important to you and letting go of the things that serve no purpose in your life and don’t bring you joy.
Should I include things which make me feel sad?
There may be items which feel bittersweet. For example, if you’ve had a bereavement and miss that person items which remind you of them will bring sadness. However, overall the object you include to remember them should bring you more happiness than sadness.
How do I use my memory box?
Memory boxes are great to open if you're in need of a mood-booster. Or you may just fancy a walk down memory lane. You can even use them to tell your friends and family stories of your life.
It really is lovely to have a box of happiness for yourself in your home. Plus an added benefit is that it means things which had previously been cluttering up your home now finally have a specific place to live!
What do I do when my memory box gets full?
When your memory box gets too full, set aside time to review the contents. Check whether they all still deserve a place in the box. Over time, relationships can change and better memories can be created. You may find that items that once felt special are no longer as important as you have different memories you cherish more now.
By deciding what is special enough to keep in your memory box, you will be honing your decision-making abilities. This means when it comes to making decisions in other aspects of your life, you will have more confidence and clarity about what the right choices are for you.
Support to tackle sentimental items
Creating a memory box is a lovely thing to do but looking through sentimental items can bring up a lot of emotions. If it feels too overwhelming to deal with sentimental items on your own or if you just don’t know where to start, our team of organisers are here to help and support you.