I’m the type of girl that needs to hold onto things that are memorable. A broadway show ticket, a beautiful letter from an old teacher, or a birthday card from my grandparents – whatever it is, if it is memorable I just can’t part with it. But I am also a really organized adult who hates clutter. I don’t exactly want to be using old love letters and birthday cards as home decor. So years ago I made a memory box – a safe place for all of those beautiful things I wanted to keep.
I’ve had that box for more than 10 years now. And it is the most beautiful box in the world.
I took it out this weekend for the first time in a long time. Going through everything that was in there, I was flooded with all different emotions. And it just reminded me how special this collection is to me. So today I wanted to share it with you. So maybe you’ll be inspired to make your own memory box too!
Why You Should Make a Memory Box
My memory box is my life. It is a full collection of everything that I have been through – the good, the bad, and the ugly (but also the beautiful.) I have old notes I passed to friends in the cafeteria when I was 14. I have a journal that I kept when I first learned how to write. My box is full of little reminders of the moments that have shaped me into the person I am today.
Love letters from old boyfriends
Journal entries from high school
Sheet music from my old favorite songs
I love all of these little memories that fill my box. And I never want to forget any of them. I’ve built a pretty solid collection of memories over the years.
Whenever I need a reminder of how far I have come in my life, I take out my memory box. Here in this box I can find all the memories of my past and the reminders of the pivotal moments that have made me the person I am today. This memory box holds more than my brain can remember. And I love having it. I can look back, reflect and appreciate all the beautiful experiences that have made me ME.
How to Make a Memory Box
So if your a mushy gushy sappy girl like I am, and you want to make your own memory box full of little reminders of your past, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to give you some tips for how to make your own little inspirational time capsule.
Get a box that inspires you.
I got this beautiful box at Michaels a long long time ago. As you can see by the wear and tear, it clearly needs to be related with something a bit bigger. It’s stretching at the seams! I guess that’s what 27 years of memories will do to a box. This isn’t my first memory box. I started with something much smaller. But I love the color, and the beautiful writing that decorates it. Find something that is durable, sturdy and also emotionally captivating. This is a special place that houses your history, so you want your box to represent you and make you smile!
Be selective with what you keep.
Seriously. Don’t be a memory hoarder. When you make your memory box, it is important to pick and choose the items that you want to keep and the items that don’t mean much. If you have a birthday party and get 25 birthday cards, save the one or two that had a beautiful letter inside. Don’t feel obligated to keep everything. You want to be able to open that box and feel like it is a treasure of beautiful special memories and not EVERY SINGLE memory.
Fill your box with more than papered items.
I have a ton of different things in my memory box. It isn’t just a place for letters, cards and old broadway show tickets. I have an old necklace a boyfriend gave me that I will never wear again. There is also an old perform bottle that has a special meaning to me. These DVDs from when I worked as producer for CBS News are also in my memory box. It’s just a place to keep everything and anything that meant something to me in my life. And the fact that it isn’t just a junk drawer full of old papers makes it feel even more like a treasure chest.
If it means something or says something, save it.
It doesn’t matter what the heck you fill your memory box with. It isn’t for anyone’ eyes but your own. Don’t feel stupid saving a bucket list that was an inside joke with a friend or a bottle cap you picked up for good luck after an awesome game of beer pong with a cute boy. When your the maid of honor at that friend’s wedding or when you marry that cute boy you were drinking with, you’ll thank your former self for putting that special memory away for safe keeping.
Don’t treat your memory box like a junk drawer.
Make it special. Find things that really meant something to you and keep them in there forever. Building a collection to remind you of your past – the good times and the bad times – is a wonderful practice. And you want to be able to look back and smile at every little thing you saved. I go through my box every six months or so to organize it and carefully weed out some of the things that no longer have value. Treat your memory box like your heart – save what matters and only let in the important things worth keeping. This was a bucket list I made when I moved to Manhattan as a single girl. It was fun to create a new life for myself. I look back on this list and smile knowing that I did a lot of these things!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a little sneak peek into my special memory box. Do you have one of your own? What is your most favorite kept memory?
Now before I sign off, I have one more thought about memories. Some memories are negative and aren’t worth holding onto.. some of us struggle to let go of the past and move forward from painful experiences. If that’s you, come check out this post and learn how to let go of the past.