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Organizing Memories on Paper: 4 ways to keep them without the clutter

You don’t have to keep all your memories on paper.

As we get older, we tend to accumulate precious moments captured on paper—letters, cards, love notes—that hold sentimental value. But there is a line between preserving memories and avoiding clutter.

Professional organizer Jenny Layton shares functional ways to organize these memories on paper.


Decide what Matters

You don’t have to save everything!

Jenny said, “A lot of times we think if someone took the time to give it to us, we owe it to them to save it… but you really don’t have to.”

She has three questions to ask yourself before you keep something:

  1. Is it handmade or handwritten?
  2. How many similar items do I already have?
  3. Does it evoke warm, fuzzy feelings?

“Sometimes, throwing it in the garbage feels like the worst thing in the world, but it’s not. Tell yourself, ‘I don’t need to keep it all’ and, ‘I have to protect my space because we have so much stuff.'” Jenny emphasized.

Digitize Your Treasures

We live in a digital age, so make it digital if you can! Jenny’s suggestion is to take a picture and upload it to an album on your phone. Then you can flip through all those sweet notes whenever you want!

“If you want to, later on you can print a Chatbook or some digital scrapbook,” Jenny expounded.

Designate a Physical Space

Jenny’s big clutter tip is to always assign something a place before it enters your home.

“When you bring it in, you know exactly where you’re going to put it,” Jenny said.

Jenny likes to use an acid-free, lignin-free archival box. It preserves your memorabilia, prevents yellowing, and keeps dust and light out.

Level Up With Binders

Organizing your papers in binders with page protectors makes them really easy to look through.

“It’s an extra little step, but then you can look at all your memorabilia,” Jenny said.

She has a cool container that has binder rings and page protectors, but functions like an archival box.

Decluttering doesn’t mean discarding memories—it means curating them. Whether you choose digital or physical storage, let your sentimental papers tell your story without overwhelming your space.

Find more organizing advice from Jenny on Instagram, @jlthehappygal, or at

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