My mom is constantly sifting through her lifelong accumulation of belongings in an attempt to organize and generally “make sense of the mess.” Here are a few tips I gleaned from her about organizing.
Mom became concerned about the photos she had placed in those old self-adhesive albums sometimes referred to as magnetic albums (it has no magnets) after learning they can damage your photographs, especially the black and white one.
The worst type of album, conservators say, is the most common one: the so-called magnetic album. It has no magnets, but its cardboard pages grip photographs on a sticky adhesive coating covered by a layer of plastic that is peeled back to position the photos. (Excerpt from Fading Memories: Albums Damage Photos)
Items needed: Three-ring binder Package of sheet protectors
Mom began by her re-organization of photos and other keepsakes in a loose leaf notebook for each of us six kids. She would stick the cards, drawings, or whatever memorabilia she would collect from us into a sheet protectors. That was a good beginning. Of course, over the years as us kids began to have kids, the notebooks began to get too thick. So, my mom came up with an additional idea.
Items needed: 11.5 x 9.5 x 5.5 decorative box and/or decorative tote Package of manila envelopes (9” x 12” and 6” x 9”) Label each envelope with the category or person in your collection. Place items according to size in the envelopes and place the envelopes in decorative box or tote. This idea is especially great if you want to use subcategories such as dates/places. Display the box on a shelf to quickly access your memories.
Recycle those great birthday or holiday bags you received with your gift. Set the bags up on an easily accessible shelf for a decorative way to hold all that paperwork that inevitably makes its way into your home. Instead of having a pile of papers that sit there waiting for your attention, you can have a nice “catch-all” area for them. This idea is also good for magazines.
Wondering what to do with those oversized pieces of paper? Scroll them up, put a rubber band (or piece of yarn tied around them) and store them in a bag as well.
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