I have quite a bad long-term memory. I often forget dates, names and places, but one thing I will never forget are the experiences I had with my mother and grandmother as a child. One thing I have found over the years as I get older is that objects are a massive trigger for my memories, and associations can help me remember great moments. I’m collaborating with Bed Guru for their #StoreYourMemories campaign, talking about how we can keep our memories safe by utilizing a long-lasting Ottoman bed. It’s a no-brainer really, excellent quality beds, comfortable sleeping and extra storage space for all your cherished memories. Whether you are storing old school reports and certificates or you are storing your children’s christening gifts, you need to figure out how to do it right so that everyone has their things boxed nicely.
The biggest memories I have are stored in photographs. By looking at photographs of my family I can remember them in a clarity that surprises me – even those who passed away when I was a child. I was lucky in that I came from a family who had a camera even thirty years ago and photographed a great deal of things, with photos preserved in black and white of family I’d never even met. I have hundreds of photos of myself and my family as a baby as well as albums full of photos from 40 – 60 years ago, such as photos of my mum as a baby.
These cherished memories take up space, but I think it’s worth it. Digital photo storage is of course extremely convenient and very safe these days with cloud storage, but where possible, I like to have a physical copy. It’s like with books – I can read kindle books all day long, but somehow holding the paper in my hands completes the experience for me, especially when I know those photos have been handled by my great grandparents, my grandparents, my mother, myself and hopefully one day, my son.
Other Cherished Memory Objects
Books – I have a keepsake box which contains books that were gifted to me as a child, but also books that were gifted to my mother and grandmother. I have a few books such as Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter, that I know were read to my mother as a child.
Jewellery – I have a few heirloom pieces of jewellery that belonged to my great grandmother, grandmother and mother. These are not valuable pieces so don’t need to be kept in a safe or bank deposit box, but they do have memories attached to them and I like to know where they are and look at them sometimes, even though they’re not my style so I wouldn’t wear them. Some are just costume pieces that I recall my grandmother wearing – she always wore large adorned (and slightly over the top!) brooches which are very memorable to me.
Clothes – My mother didn’t keep many of my clothes from a baby, but she did keep my Christening outfit which needs to be kept very carefully. One day perhaps there’ll be a little girl in the family I can pass that down to, but my generation of the family has managed to give birth to a total of 9 boys and 0 girls so far!
Cards – I keep the occasional birthday card and Christmas card from family members, and I’m glad that I do, as I have some cards from my grandparents, aunt and uncle who have passed on. I also have cards from my wedding and some valentine’s day cards from my husband.
Tickets and special events – When we go on a big holiday or go to a really special event like a rare concert I’ll often keep a ticket or something memorable from the occasion. This lets me build up my memories of things I’ve attended with my husband.
Diaries and Poems – I wrote a lot of poetry as a child and teenager, and kept a diary. I kept hold of these over the years as they have a lot of memories in them, although reading my old poetry is a little bit cringey!
Creating a Memory Box for my Son
My son is 14 months old and I’ve been thinking about creating a memory box of special items relating to him. Here’s what I plan on putting in the box to give you an idea if you want a sentimental way of cherishing the memories of your little one growing up:
- Photographs (and lots of them!)
- A DVD or USB stick with treasured videos on it
- Ultrasound scans
- Bracelet from the hospital
- First outfit worn home, or any special memorable outfits such as Christening outfits or similar
- First tooth
- Lock of hair
- Special artwork (for example my first mother’s day handprint artwork that my husband helped make)
- Certificates and trophies
- Meaningful toys (just one or two, like his first stuffed teddy that his aunt bought him that he carries everywhere).
- Letters and cards from relatives
- Holiday and special event momentos
- School achievements
- Special date newspapers
Storing your Memories Close
So here’s the important question. How do you store all that stuff? You definitely don’t want your cherished memories to get lost, mouldy or dusty and you want them to be somewhere you can actually access them, not stored in a box in the attic where you’ll not see them for the next decade. I’m very space-conscious because we’re currently living in a fairly small apartment with a baby. This means I simply don’t have a ton of storage space – nothing more than I need. One of the things I would do when moving, or when replacing my bed, is to make sure I buy an Ottoman Bed and I’ll definitely be giving Bed Guru a visit. Ottoman beds have secure storage space underneath which is accessed through lifting the bed up, which adds a ton of storage without taking any effective space away from the room.
A large storage space underneath an Ottoman bed is the perfect place to keep my cherished memories. It’s dry, dark, not prone to dust or damage, easily accessible, unlikely to be a target location for thieves and it means I can sleep with it close to my heart (talk about sentimental!).
What would you put in your memory box?
This post was written in collaboration with Bed Guru.