How To Preserve Memories Without A Scrapbook
Do you want to preserve your precious memories without spending hours and money on scrapbooks? Then you will enjoy these simple and fun alternatives for keeping your family’s memories safe.
Life with kids often means life in the fast lane. It blurs by and it’s all we can do to try and keep up. One moment, we’re holding a brand new baby girl in our arms only to blink and find ourselves at Target looking for training bras with her. Whoa.
So in our efforts to keep up, we have to find ways to remember it all. Because, try as we might, not all of it will naturally stick.
Creating lasting memories and finding ways to preserve them can actually be easier than you think. You don’t have to go buy hundreds of dollars of scrapbook supplies or invest in anything that isn’t a priority to you.
It can be as simple as keeping your phone on you.
Whatever you do, you’ll be glad you did it. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Take pictures! Lots of them!
As obvious as this one sounds, it can actually be hard to remember sometimes. Don’t get so caught up in your regular routines that you forget to capture the everyday moments. Make a conscious effort.
Backing up all of your digital pictures in one place makes it easy to flip through and enjoy pictures from any year you want. Google Photos is a great option. And the app makes it possible to see all of your pictures right from your phone!
Companies like Chatbooks and Shutterfly provide affordable photo books that are so easy, you can’t pass them up! Get the app and create books right from your phone.
Having physical copies of your pictures is a fun way to relive memories. Your family will love having books to look through.
I totally remember the days when my friends and I would get together and make ridiculous music videos or commercials. They would be humiliating if they ever surfaced now, but we sure had fun making them!
Now with my kids, I have to remind myself sometimes to take video and not just pictures.
It doesn’t matter if your videos are captured milestones, planned acts or spontaneous moments. Seeing facial expressions and hearing sounds really bring your memories back to life.
So hit record and capture the funny, cute and everyday things you don’t want to forget.
I have a notebook that I keep in my kitchen cupboard where I can easily access it. In it are funny family stories and funny things my kids say.
We also write down things the kids would like to remember such as what kind of birthday cake they had each year and what we dressed up as for Halloween.
This is one of my favorite things in our house.
I don’t have time to journal heavily. I know it would be good and I could probably make more time for it, but for now, this is good enough for me.
Most of the time, I don’t even have time to keep it fully updated. I keep a running note going in my phone where I add things as they happen and then put them in this notebook when I find a second.
We love flipping through it and remembering the time my son said, “Don’t worry mom, there was a fly in my mouth, but I got it out!”
Or when my bookworm of a daughter said that cirrus clouds look like carpet rashes on her knees.
This is a fun tradition many families enjoy. Simply find an old shoebox or other container and decorate it. Decide as a family what you want to include. A few ideas could be:
- Letters to your future self
- Souvenirs or mementos
- Small toys
- Notes with predictions, favorite things or memories
Basically, anything you’d like to remember!
Set a date. (This could be a fun New Year’s Eve tradition). Hide it somewhere safe and look forward to when you get to open it!
Quick tip: Make sure to put your time capsule in something waterproof and safe if you’re going to hide it outside!
You don’t even need a physical thing to help make memories stronger.
Even if you don’t have pictures or videos, talking about memories with your kids is not only a great conversation piece, but it helps solidify those memories so they don’t go away. It’s also fun to hear how everyone remembers things.
Whether you do the same thing every year for birthdays or go to the same vacation spot often, traditions are one of the best ways to cultivate memories. There are some things that my kids are starting to expect and I love that the traditions my husband and I worked to introduce are finding a place in our family.
Most of them are embarrassingly simple. But that’s probably why they’re still around.
It’s fun to look forward to the same birthday activities or the same back to school family party. Big or small, finding ways to incorporate traditions will never be time wasted.
And it’s never too late to start one!
USE YOUR SENSES
Music and food are two ways to instantly bring a person back to their childhood.
So bring out your favorite recipes or turn up your favorite music and you will create a gateway back to many fond memories.
PLAN BIG THINGS
Time and money can make planning big things a little more difficult, but don’t let too long go by before you do something you don’t do often. It doesn’t even have to be something elaborate. Just make it stand out. Take pictures and have fun adding in all those memories.
PLAN SMALL THINGS
Never underestimate the power of a family dance party, a fort-building session or even just some time outside. Things like these take little to no planning and are another fun way to make memories that will stick.
I want my kids to remember that we played with them, but I know I won’t be remembered for my imaginative play. I’m the worst at playing pretend. You would not want me as a Barbie partner.
So it’s nice that we can supplement with game nights, movie nights and other fun things so that hopefully, someone in my family will remember that I’m actually super cool (despite my severe lack of dancing skills).
Your children may not remember everything you did together as a family, but they will remember that you did things together as a family.
Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you try to enjoy this time while you’ve got it. Which brings me to my last tip.
We hear it all the time. “They grow up so fast”. And it’s true. And even though I sometimes fantasize about the day my husband and I can carry on an uninterrupted conversation again, I do love that my children will all talk simultaneously and actually think I can process it all.
So enjoy this time while you have it. Don’t let the hard days keep you from savoring the good ones. Be intentional when you can about making and preserving memories with your family. You’ll be glad you did.
How do you like to capture your family’s memories?
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