Use What You Already Have

New clients often ask me if they should purchase any supplies before our first appointment. I tell them no, because we can often use containers that they already have in new ways. For example, a seldom-used coffee mug can become a holder for pens and pencils, and a plastic container missing a lid can become a repository for small accessories in the bedroom or loose change in the entryway. Shoe boxes can become a useful repository in any room.

In recent months, I finished up a project to organize my daughter’s childhood photos that I had had digitized (see my earlier post Making Lemonade). Once that was done, I disposed of all of the negatives. That left me with a couple of very attractive photo boxes that were now empty. I resisted tossing these boxes because I had a gut feeling that I would be able to use them for something. I have been doing a lot of organizing projects around my house during the pandemic, and I made a mental note to keep an eye out for a use for these boxes.

Happily, that use just revealed itself. Another project that I tackled recently was my own unfinished childhood album (see last week’s post When One Project Begets Many.) This required me to go through my box of memorabilia to find papers that might go in the album. I had a rather large box for not that much stuff, since a lot of it had been pulled out over the years and incorporated into various other projects. Things that were left were either small bulky items (such as my elementary school and middle school autograph books, and medals I received for various honors) or large papers (such as oversized certificates).

Picture boxes repurposed for memorabilia

I decided to try putting the small items into the now-empty photo boxes. A perfect fit! I now have one box that consists of items from my childhood, and another that consists of items related to my parents. I have a third never-used box (still in the shrink wrap) for any other small items I come across.

As for the oversized certificates, I decided to combine them with other even larger papers that I have saved over the years, such as newspapers in which my name appears. Last night I ordered an archival box that will be large enough for all of them.

I’m pretty excited that I am getting my memorabilia better organized, and also that I found a use for those pretty boxes. But one of the benefits of this project was that it required me to thoroughly review my memorabilia. I was often surprised, occasionally amazed, and sometimes tearful. I feel like I’m getting back in touch with parts of my life that I have forgotten.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.  Required fields are marked *