Organizing Keepsakes and Memorabilia

Category Miscellaneous
Birth and wedding announcements, photos, and other keepsakes can be enjoyed more easily if you develop a creative or practical way of organizing them. This is a page about organizing keepsakes and memorabilia.


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I have a memory board. On it, I place pictures of people who have gone to heaven, special obituaries, corsages of my daughters' weddings, a metro card from my trip to New York, old badges from jobs I had and loved, small slips of paper that my children have written over the years that shows me they love me, necklaces from friends, co-workers, and families of deceased people.

I can look at it any time and remember all the good things that people have taught me or the love I felt when one of my four daughters was married. It's just a cork board but it means more to me than a huge bank account ever could. Why not start your own? Makes for a great day starter to jump start your heart and warm your soul.


By gem from Gordonsville, VA

Comment Was this helpful? 16

We all have memories, some of them good, some bad. Our keepsakes are most likely associated with the good memories. And they're sort of like Christmas. Every day Christmas would be no joy. It's the year long anticipation that makes it so special. And so it is with keepsakes.

Sometimes we put keepsakes on display, giving them their own little niche on a shelf or maybe a more prominent spot on a coffee table. But I've noticed that with a lot of people, the more cherished the keepsake, the more likely it will be kept out of site. It may be kept in a little used drawer, wrapped loosely in paper or cloth, and maybe pushed a bit to the back.

Hardly ever seen, it sit there quietly till happened upon some rainy Sunday afternoon when you decide it's a good time to straighten some drawers. The unplanned but welcome encounter immediately pushes all of whatever you were thinking about, out of your mind.

The time you spend with the keepsake can vary. You may briefly smile and then go about your business of cleaning and rearranging.

Depending on your mood, you may choose to take the cherished object from its place, find a comfortable seat, unwrap the memory filled item and let your mind travel to places reserved for rare and quiet occasions.

Such times renew and strengthen a part of our psyche, a part we seldom acknowledge but is none the less vital to our sense of well being. This is truly what keepsakes are for.

I have several keepsakes, each worth more to me than gold. Money can't buy the pleasure derived from possessing these little treasures. My mind is all I have, and they are a part of my mind. They are a part of me.

Recently, I ran across a small keepsake given to me by my favorite aunt. It's a small pressed glass wash pot. Its value on the market? Maybe a dollar or two. I never researched to see. Its value to me cannot be measured monetarily. It evokes precious memories. Rusty bail and all, money can't do that.

Some time back, I ran across a small teddy bear while cleaning a closet. I had thought surely I would never see it again. A bit like a long lost friend finding their way back home. I was happy the rest of the day.

I thought to myself, 'Doug, you've had a stroke of good luck, today. Share that with someone else'. A plan began to form in my noggin, a way for this long lost keepsake to continue as a keepsake for someone else.

I have the sweetest little great grandniece. Her great grandmother (my sister), would have you believe she's a formidable tyrant, a monster no less. A little hellion to be reckoned with.

I know grandmothers and I know great grandmothers. I know how they can profess their grandchildren to be little devils at times. I also know who can be found down in the dumps when they learn 'the other Nana' will be baby sitting with the girls this weekend. I ain't dumb, Y'all.

My little niece is named Sarah. She has temper tantrums. She's Human. She tests Nana to see how much she can get away with. What child doesn't? It's all part of growing up. Soon my sister will be complaining, 'They're growing up so fast!

When I found the teddy bear, I immediately thought of Sarah. I'll clean up little Sherbert (so named because he reminds me of peach sherbet), and give him to Sarah as a keepsake.

I will ask my sister to join with me in this endeavor. Perhaps she will buy a nice frame for the letter I've written to accompany the bear. I will try to find a nice glass dome or glass box to house the little fella. I doubt the text of the letter will be legible here, so I have written it below for you to read.

The next time you unexpectedly run across a cherished keepsake, do give some thought as to who should be the next owner. We keep keepsakes for the joy they bring us. We also keep them to pass along, so that joy will live on long after we're gone.

Thank you


Dear Sarah,

This little fella's name is Sherbert. I found him in a dark, lonely corner of a closet. He had been sitting there quietly for thirty years.

I asked him why he never complained. He answered, 'Golly, I didn't mind. I knew that one day a sweet little girl named Sarah would be born and you would find me and take me to her.

Sarah and I will be the best of friends. I will always be a little bear, but I will stay by her side and watch as she grows into a beautiful young lady'.

And then he added, 'Please, Mister Doug, can we go soon? I know Sarah is expecting me. I mustn't keep my best friend waiting'.

And so, Sarah, here is Sherbert. I wish you both the very best of all those things only true friendship can bring.

Your great, great uncle


Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 4

My daughter came up with the best idea to save her 2 1/2 year old twin boys artwork! They do some kind of art project nearly every day, and the papers were really beginning to pile up at home!

Binder for Saving School Keepsakes

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 15

I save obituaries and put them into a small photo album. I made a label for it that says "Obituaries."

Comment Was this helpful? 3

When a new baby is born in the family, keep the local newspaper that the announcement appears in. Hopefully, this will occur the same day the baby is born.


Sometimes the announcements are the next day, depending on the time of birth.

Comment Was this helpful? 3

September 11, 2013

If you have children, you probably have boxes and scrapbooks of things your children made in school that you are keeping. Have you ever wished you had a better way to keep these treasures?

Comment Was this helpful? 2

Turn a shoe cubby into a cutting station for scrapbooking or for a place for filing your genealogy, family history information, and family photos in.

Comment Was this helpful? 1


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

What is the best way to organize photos and keepsakes? I am a bit too lazy to do scrapbooking, is there a lazy person's way to having nice albums? Is it best practice to put all photos and keepsakes in albums or do people have other methods? I would love to hear your ideas.


By StellaBell from Manchester, WA


August 17, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

What is wrong with just putting them in photo albums like people used. You can buy photo albums that have pockets in the pages for 4x6" photos and a border on the side to write information on. I have these photo albums and when I have smaller photos I put two in one compartment. I do, do scrapbooking too, but I make photocopies of the the photos for that.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
August 17, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can purchase ready made photo boxes at most dollar stores, or make your own from shoe boxes covered with nice paper of your choice, to match your decor. Then you can make dividers if you want, out of manilla folders, cut to fit the boxes, and leaving a tab on which to write the date, year, occasion, etc. Then the boxes look nice and can be left out for everyone to look through.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...

I would like to preserve my father's obituary. Can you give me some suggestions on the best way to do this?

Thank you,


March 9, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Peggy! First let me say I'm sorry about the loss of your father. Do you mean to keep the obituary announcement from the newspaper from yellowing? I know you can do it with club soda and milk of magnesia.


Here is a site that offers several ideas(personally, I'd have more than one copy before trying anything). I hope this helps.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Margaret (Guest Post)
March 10, 20050 found this helpful

My mother laminates EVERYTHING, and quite cheaply by using clear contact paper.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Laura (Guest Post)
March 10, 20050 found this helpful

I laminate alot of things like pictures,obits,etc..I wanna keep.I use laminting paper I get from my local Fred's discount store. I get it two 8"x10" sheets for $1.00.If have one near ya a great price to preserve something you wanna keep forever.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Michele (Guest Post)
March 10, 20050 found this helpful

Sorry to hear about your fathers passing. We were given laminated (harder than normal laminate) copies of the obiturary from the funeral home.


If it was recent they should have them. But if it was a while back you can just laminate them as normal.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 10, 20050 found this helpful

Take it to a store that does laminating. My local UPS Store does it at a very reasonable price, based on the size. I've gotten all my pasteboard cards (insurance, Medicare, etc.) laminated there.

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By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post)
March 10, 20050 found this helpful

I would suggest using Archival Mist to prevent it from yellowing. Target carries it in the scrapbooking section. Also, you might want to store it in a small, acid-free photo album to further protect it. You could also scan it and store an image on the computer.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Babs (Guest Post)
March 11, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Peg

Sorry about the loss of your father - that's tough. Our local paper carries the obituaries on line and I print them up - you get a permanent record of the obit and the paper is less likely to yellow with age.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By jean (Guest Post)
April 18, 20070 found this helpful

My sister just died and i am looking for the company that preserves the obituary. I had it done for my parents years ago and can't find the address anywhere. If anyone knows of this company i would really appreciate it. Its really nice, I have had my moms since 1987 and looks like new still. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Cadee Duquette (Guest Post)
July 14, 20071 found this helpful

Cadee Inc. Laminated Memories preserves obituaries on your choice of bookmark styles. Color or black & white photos may be added, and a lovely verse of your choice as well. The address is
Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...

May 5, 2011

Does anyone know of someone that laminates obituaries or funeral notices? I just lost my nephew, 2 years old, and I wanted to get some made for the family. I use to get them made with a company in TN, and they closed up.
Thanks for your time.

By Diana


May 5, 20110 found this helpful

Here in South Dakota the major newspapers do it. Last summer I had my Dad's obituary laminated. I had to have the newspaper look it up for me, because I had lost my copy of the obituary. Altogether, for looking it up, having somebody type it onto pretty paper about the size of a book marker and laminating, it cost me $30.00 for one. I had figured it might be about $10.00 and if it had been that low, I would have had one made for each of my sisters, but I decided at that price if they really wanted one they could buy their own. They both have more income than I do. I did make photo copies of the one I got and sent them to my sisters.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 5, 20110 found this helpful

Any office supply chain (Staples, Office Max, Office Depot) will laminate paper for you for very little money. If it needs a special presentation, you might be able to do this with scrapbooking papers. They could also photocopy the original onto prettier paper, you can trim, then they could laminate it. You could add a photo of the little boy, and a poem, as well, if you wanted. So sorry for your family's loss....

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 6, 20110 found this helpful

I am so sorry for your loss.
I would advise against laminating, actually. Laminate is terrible for paper - it is corrosive, and newspaper is so acidic that the two of them combined is disastrous if you're trying to preserve the clipping. Instead, I would photocopy the notice onto acid-free paper and frame it in a glass (not plastic) frame (I mean make sure glass covers the image.) If you want to give out original clippings it is better to leave the clipping open to the air rather than laminate it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 10, 20110 found this helpful

The funeral home where my father was laid out made ours. It was part of their package, I guess. You might try asking at some funeral homes in the area. Perhaps they could give you a lead.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 13, 20110 found this helpful

Office Depot also carries do-it-yourself laminate sheets; they're in the section with address labels and other specialty printing stuff ( like tee shirt transfer paper, magnetic sign stock, things like that.)

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May 15, 20110 found this helpful

Try your local library. Many have laminating machines. If they do not, they probably know where you can go locally to have it done.

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Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 9, 2010

I am looking for a memory photo board. Does anyone make these? I'm needing one that will hold several photos. Does anyone have an idea where I can find one?

By donita


Memory Photo Board

My little girl has a plastic photo holder that hangs on her door. You can put lots of pictures in it. I bought it out of the book Lillian and Vermon. I hope this might help. (11/13/2009)

By miranda robinson

Memory Photo Board

I purchased two large ones at Walmart for my husband's memorial service. They are quite large. I then made my own captions for each photo of him. I placed his baby pictures, his grade school pictures, his military pictures, our wedding pictures and various holiday pictures on the boards. They turned out beautiful. It's been a little over a year and I still haven't taken them apart yet. (11/16/2009)

By Kathy

Memory Photo Board

Make one your self (I did for a friend who was moving away). Go to Walmart and buy a peice of sytrofoam board the size that you would like to work with. Mine was 30" x 50" - from there I took photograph's of different folks within our congregation, photo's of the place that we worship at inside and out; then after printing them up at home I cut the photo's into differnt sizes and "scotch-taped" them to the styrofoam board along with a computer printed out note of what the scene was of or the person that was in the photo.

For less then $20 and a couple of hours of my time putting it all together I made the receiver very, very happy. I will do the same thing again when someone moves away from the congregation that they had worshiped with. (11/16/2009)

By Paula Jo C.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Organizing MiscellaneousFebruary 8, 2013
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