Left unchecked, random memorabilia can be overwhelming. Old clothes with sentimental value, kids' school projects, piles of old college notebooks—and the few treasures buried among them often get ruined. This month's project is to rescue what's meaningful to you and organize it so it's accessible and protected.
Is It a Keepsake—or Just Junk?
True memorabilia encapsulates your most significant moments, transporting you in time with a mere touch or glance. If you can no longer remember why you're saving all those old birthday cards, get rid of them. Save one pair of embroidered bell-bottoms for nostalgia's sake, but not eleven. Be selective, and feed the wastebasket generously.
High and Dry Is Best
Once you've decided what to keep, make sure it's in a clean, climate-controlled location, such as the guest bedroom or family room. Avoid the basement and the garage, which are prone to water damage and grease. Invest in archival-quality containers (acid-free, lignin-free), which protect against dust and help slow the breakdown of chemical structures. I recommend:
If something you love has already been damaged, look for affordable restoration products. In particular:
It's satisfying to display a few signature pieces.
From the October 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
From the October 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!