Words are the easiest way of telling your family story, but as your memory fades, that story can become more difficult to tell. Luckily, there are other ways of telling it – through pictures, toys, videos and similar things that are less influenced by time. However, all those things won’t really help you if they aren’t safely stored and well organized, so here are a few ways in which you can do that and preserve your memories forever.
Save the artwork
All those watercolor handprints and stick figure doodles will become precious one day, so don’t throw them away just because you can’t tell what’s on them. Get a nice folder and store all your kids’ artwork no matter how silly the drawings might seem at first. Write down the date they were drawn or the kid’s age at the back, so you can keep track of their art skills development. If your child is more into crafting things like mine is, find a box where you can keep their early crafts. Once your children are all grown up, you will have something to remind you of the time they were kids.
Organize your digital photos
Having thousands of photos on your computer and phone won’t mean much if you have no idea where and how to find the photo you’re looking for. Therefore, organize your photos into folders and make sure the names of the folders are short and descriptive, so you can easily tell what’s inside. Also, don’t hesitate to delete those blurry, out of focus pics of somebody’s arm or back; those photos are only taking up space and preventing you from enjoying the good pictures.
Record your special events
One of the best ways to preserve your memories of special family events is to record them with a phone or digital camera. For example, when I was getting married in Australia, I hired professionals in wedding videography from Sydney who made sure to capture all the special moments. This way, I’ve been able to show the wedding to my kids, share the video with all my friends who couldn’t make it to the wedding, and remind myself of the special day.
Make a memory container
Every kid knows the feeling when they return from school only to find that their room has been cleaned and that nothing is “where it should be”. As a mom, I admit that I don’t really see the difference between my kid’s first love note from their crush and some paper that’s not supposed to be on the floor. So, as we all have things we’d like to “protect”, it might be a good idea to make a memory box for all those sentimental items that we like to look at from time to time. This way, moms will know what shouldn’t be touched, and kids will have a safe place for all the things that would otherwise disappear after the surprise cleaning.
Plant a tree
Planting a tree for each member of your family is a great idea that could help preserve not only your memories but also your environment. You can do it on your birthdays or you can choose one special day in spring when the weather is nice. Stamp each person’s name and the date onto silver dog tags and attach them to the base of the tree so you can track its growth and remember the day of the planting. If you are moving into a new house and there are some trees in your yard, you can do what I did – carve the date into the bark of one of the trees so it can remind you of your new start.
It is an inevitable fact of life that our memory fades with time. However, if you keep your photos, videos, and other things of sentimental value well organized, you will be able to remember the important moments of your family’s life for much longer, and hopefully, pass those mementos on to the next generation that will appreciate them even more.