In my books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I wrote about my desire to hang onto happy memories, and in my book Outer Order, Inner Calm, I wrote about various methods I followed to save and curate mementos of happy memories.
This effort takes energy and time, but it’s worth it—research shows that one of the best ways to make ourselves happier in the present is to remember happy times from the past.
When I was little, my grandparents gave me a small spiral-bound book School Years that was made of a set of 13 pockets, for kindergarten and grades 1-12. For each pocket, it suggested, you’d add your report card, class picture, mementos, and samples of reading, writing and math.
By chance, the report cards of my school fit exactly in the pockets, so that was satisfying—but the pockets were too small to hold much.
For my own children, I set up a “file box.” I put in a folder for each school year, and put in items such as their birthday invitations, our yearly holiday cards, some representative schoolwork, some photos, etc. (If you want to hear me talk about the file boxes, you can listen here.) I love these file boxes, but they weren’t very well-designed for that purpose.
I wanted to create something with a better design—something that would hold more items, be visually appealing, space-efficient, and organized.
I wanted to create something flexible—that could be used for school mementos, travel mementos, project mementos, that could record “My 35th Year” or “2022”…and whatever else people could dream up.
So…here it is!
The Memento Keepsake Journal has twelve pockets, with pages where you can record the contents or make notes about an experience. The spiral binding is concealed, so it looks great from the side—if you want to tuck it onto a shelf—as well as from the front.
So often, I find myself thinking, “I want to keep this memento, but where? What the heck should I do with it?” The decision fatigue can be draining, and that leads to clutter.
This journal makes it easy to preserve and organize mementos, and to create the outer order that contributes to inner calm.
What strategies and tools do you use to hold onto important memories and mementos?