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Tips for Organizing Collections

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
by Sherry Castaldi
Category: Home Organizing

Gather your items together and start by grouping like items with like items. Sort and determine category names for your items. By keeping like items together in the appropriate labeled albums, and/or containers, they are always retrievable by your labeled category. This also allows for any items coming into the home that pertain to any of those categories to now have a place to be stored, eliminating clutter and keeping those items and your home organized.

Sentimental Items

  1. Gather these items from around the home
  2. Is there a story that goes with the item? Type or write out the story it you want if preserved for future generations
  3. Categorize these sentimental items or family heirlooms either by the person or the event
  4. If anything can be attractively displayed in a frame or shadowbox do so
  5. Store all memorabilia together and appropriately labeled in containers and designated areas
  6. If you don’t have a deep attachment to the item, but still feel compelled to keep it, consider taking a picture of the item to save the memory

Keepsake Boxes

  1. Good for keeping misc. sentimental keepsake items that are special to that person
  2. Keepsake boxes can be made for each family member
  3. Keepsake boxes can be decorative boxes, shoe boxes, or plastic containers, whatever is the appropriate size needed to store the items.

Kid’s Artwork & School

  1. Pick out a few of your favorites and let your child choose a few of their favorites
  2. Consider using a scrap album to save favorites by the school year
  3. Display a few pieces as framed art
  4. Keep the remaining in labeled plastic containers (not cardboard)


  1. Gather all of the actual photos from around the home so you have all of these related photos that you will be working with in the same location (like with like)
  2. Determine your categories and sort; theme, vacation, person, chronologically by year, unknown
  3. Make 3×5 index cards or use post it notes naming your categories
  4. Start with your loose photos and sort into your categories using your index cards, or post it notes, to keep these photos organized in their categories
  5. Determine if you will be keeping and organizing the actual photos into albums or scanning into your computer and digitally organizing into albums
  6. With many available ways to store the actual photos such as acid-free albums, photo sleeves, containers, etc. determine what option you prefer for storing your organized actual photos
  7. Labeled albums can be stored in labeled containers
  8. Keep photos stored in room temperature areas of your home. Avoid attics, basements and garages, where they would be subject to heat, moisture and humidity.

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