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How to create a memory box for each child

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Box up those memories!

We all want to preserve precious memories for our families, but not everyone has time to devote to scrapbooking and careful organization of mementos. If this sounds like you, make a memory box. It’s an easy way to collect memories for your children and keep them safe, but it doesn’t take much more than dropping items in a box. Make one for each child so they’ll have pieces of their childhoods to keep forever.

Find your boxwoman making memory box

Your first step in creating a memory box is finding a box. Your first instinct may be to search for pretty decorative boxes with fabric lining and jeweled lids. That’s not necessary. In fact, while those boxes may be pretty, they probably won’t serve your purpose very well. You’ll need a box that’s durable. It’s going to be around for a long time, and it’s probably going to spend a lot of time in basements, attics, garages or the back of a closet. For this reason, water proof and weather proof may be a great idea. You’ll also need something big -- and we mean BIG. Remember, you’re going to keep 18 years of precious items in this box and you don’t want to run out of room.

A little magic to make memories >>

Your best bet is to find a rubber storage tote -- the biggest one you can locate. It can be clear or not, that’s a matter of personal preference. Just make sure the lid closes tight. Get one tote for each child and label it clearly with their names.

Start gathering

If you don’t have any children yet, you can skip this part. If you do, it’s time to start the hunt. You probably have important items and keepsakes you’re stashing away for your children tucked into several nooks and crannies around your house. Go through every room and gather all of your children’s keepsakes. You can keep anything you want, but some suggestions are:

  • Hospital bracelets
  • Birthday cards
  • Locks of hair
  • Special outfits
  • Artwork
  • Report cards
  • Photos
  • Tiny shoes
  • Stuffed animals
  • Dried flowers
  • Letters
  • Printed out emails and texts
  • Recipes of their favorite dishes
  • Postcards from family trips
  • Pacifiers and baby silverware
  • One baby bottle
  • Programs from plays and recitals
  • Anything else that reminds you of a special time in your child’s life

Load up the boxes

Once you have everything gathered, simply load it all into each child’s box. There’s no need to label everything, but you may attach a note to anything whose origin isn’t obvious. It might be a good idea to attach notes to items detailing any special memory you have of that piece.

Make a memory box >>

Keep it up

Once you have the boxes started, it’s easy to keep them up. Every time you come across something you would like to save, simply put it in the box instead of shoving into a drawer. By the time your child is 18, you should have a box that’s overflowing with memories to make him or her smile.

Decoupage keepsake box >>

Quick Tip

Don't tell your kids what you're doing. Let it be a wonderful surprise when they're finally old enough to receive their boxes.

More tips on preserving memories from SheKnows

Scrapbooking 101 for moms
5 Stress-free ways to keep baby memories

10 Family photo opportunities

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