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Are your memories stored in boxes packed away in the attic or garage? Do you depend on snippets from Facebook or Instagram to tell the stories of your life? Perhaps your busy schedule and the time and effort it takes to live the life you love have left you too busy and too overwhelmed to find a meaningful way to memory keep. And to help you get started, I have a free mini kit at the end of this post!
Why Should You Bother with Memory Keeping?
Recording memories, keeping special tokens and photographs on a regular basis is the best way to turn meaningless, unimportant days into the meaningful moments of your life. But those tokens and photos mean nothing if you don’t find ways to give words to them, to turn them into the very stories you live and create.
Your memories and all the little tokens that represent those memories need to live on past you and the stories you can call forth and tell. Just a few details about each one will give meaning and context for generations and will let your stories live on.
I am here to share with you TWELVE easy and doable ways to help you remember and record your stories!
Writing regularly in a journal or diary
It may seem like a little thing and maybe not the easiest habit to start, but keeping a small notebook by your bed and jotting down a few things from the day is a great way to remember the small details of your life. If you would prefer to take it to a digital level, you can create an email just for your journals and send emails to yourself on a daily basis.
Use Shutterfly or Chat Books to create simple flip books
There are so many options out there, including ones that can be hooked up to your social media accounts and automatically print and send you books when you’ve posted a certain number of times. These are great options to keep on your shelf to share with your kids or grandkids.
Scan or photograph artwork and other large meaningful items
It may not be feasible to keep every painting your child brings home or every handmade gift. But scanning it or taking a photo before it gets tossed or hidden away in the closet is a great way to hold on to the memory of the moment. With so much space in the cloud to keep things, there is no reason to not capture all the little special things digitally!
Start a Family Blog
These are free and can even be set to private if you don’t want it shared with the world. But what a great way to post and document events, awards, holidays, etc. Add in photos and you’ll have a record that can be accessed from any computer or phone. This is an especially great way to share with family that lives far away. In my blog post, Why Should I Create a Blog, I have tutorials for setting up your own blog, along with a free blog kit!
Create a yearly family video
This is such a fun idea and doesn’t have to be only for the professional videographer! Video cameras are a standard feature on every cell phone! Pretend you are making your own family documentary and upload to youtube! Your family will love it and cherish it for many years to come! It can be as simple as an interview with your children to something more complex, depending on your skills and tools.
Print a yearly photo calendar
I love these and so do my kids! Use photos from the current year and remember them as you create new memories in the new year! These can be easily created through shutterfly and other photo companies and usually cost around $20. We like to write on the calendar during the year as much as we can and keep them to look back on over the years. You can access my most recent yearly calendar templates for FREE in my calendar post! I also walk through the basic steps for creating one.
Write a yearly letter to each of your children
Maybe it can be done for their birthdays or at the beginning of the year. Write down all the things you know about them at that very moment. Write funny things they say or special things they like. Tell them in the letter how you appreciate them. This is something that will not only help them remember that particular year in their life but help them feel more connected and loved!
Keep a digital file of memories
I use google drive for everything. I back up my photos there and I keep a digital folder of memories and moments to use for books or albums I make. Even a simple word document can have photos inserted and be printed to read very much like a story. No matter how much or how little you record, it will never be too much! And anything is better than nothing.
Make a monthly poster of quotes
This is a fun project and especially fun when you have littles in your home! I once visited a friend who kept a big piece of poster board on her kitchen wall. Every time one of her kids said something funny, she would write it in sharpy on the poster with their name and date. What a fun thing it was to read over and each of the kids were so excited by the little quotes! At the end of the month, this could easily be preserved with a photo and then you could start again!
Write a Christmas newsletter
I try to do this every year and then I keep them. It’s amazing how fun these are to look back on. Include the highlights, a few photos and you have a great sum up of the year! I have a fun free template for this in my blog post, DIY Family Newsletter!
Make a Digital Scrapbook album
These are so much faster and easier than the traditional paper ones. With so many photo editing programs out there, these can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like. If you are interested in learning more about getting started with this, you can sign up for my Newbie to Know-How email campaign. It’s simple and daily instructions are sent to your email with all the things you’d need to get started. Or if you are wanting a more in depth program to help you outline and prepare your family story, join my 7 day Story Camp.
Collect postcards from every place you visit and even ones from where you live!
Store these with your photos of your trips and adventures. Simply write a bit about the trip on the back of the postcard and don’t forget to date it! Save them until you get home or even mail them to yourself throughout the trip!
As you can see memory keeping is more than just a large crafty book of photos and perfectly scrapped pages. It is about finding what works best for you and taking a few extra minutes a week to record the details of your life you don’t want forgotten! This is a subject I am passionate about! I love memory keeping and preserving your precious family memories! This is the main reason I have this blog and also why I created a Resource Library. In this library, I have lots of free tools to help you get started! I also have lots of tutorials to help you get started!
Here is just a sample of one of the mini kits available in my library! Fill out the form to get access and download this mini and others!
And remember, “There’s no such thing in anyone’s life as unimportant days.” Alexandar Woollcott.