Wednesday, May 8, 2019

How to Organize All of Your Child's Keepsakes - Clothes and Other Non-Paper Items

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

I had a wildly popular post last year about how to organize all of your child’s school paper keepsakes in just one box, and then I followed it up with another post about how to organize all of your child’s non-school paper keepsakes in just one box.  Both of those posts went viral, and ever since then, I’ve been getting the same question over and over again – how do you organize all of your child’s NON-PAPER keepsakes? 

Well friends, I’m finally going to share that with you today!  And can I tell you a secret?  It’s actually pretty simple.  

Jacob's Clothing Keepsake Box & Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

Olivia's Clothing Keepsake Box & Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

Before I get into how I organize these things, let’s first define what non-paper keepsakes are.  Non-paper keepsakes include (but are not limited to) clothing, blankets, toys, books, and other tangible items that ARE NOT PAPER.  All of your paper keepsakes will be stored in your School Papers Keepsake Box or your Non-School Papers Keepsake Box, depending on which category they fall into, so these boxes that we are discussing today are for all keepsake items that ARE NOT PAPER. 

And if you missed the posts about how to store your child’s PAPER keepsakes then you can see them below:

Now for how to organize all of the other keepsakes that ARE NOT PAPER…

For all non-paper keepsakes, each of our children has two boxes – one for clothes, and one for everything else (toys, books, knick-knacks, trophies, etc.).  

All you'll need for this project is the following:

2 plastic containers per child (we love these Sterilite 18 gallon containers but there are lots of other options like these, these, these, or these)
Labels (I love these)
Chalk marker (I love these)

Throughout their lives, we will save their very favorite and treasured items in these two categories, and the goal is to be able to fit every single non-paper keepsake in just these two boxes.  If we ever reach the point where either box is full, we’ll have to decide what to keep and what to toss so that we stay in our limit of just two boxes.  Now for the details…

Clothing Keepsake Box

The clothing keepsake box is for… you guessed it… clothes!  #Duh  I also keep blankets in these boxes. 

Jacob's Clothing Keepsake Box 

Olivia's Clothing Keepsake Box

Each child’s clothing box contains/will eventually contain the following items:

-          All outfits they wore for the four professional picture sessions during their first year of life (newborn, 4 month, 8 month, 12 month – these are the pictures in the panels that hang in our dining room)
-          First bib
-          First bathing suit
-          First sunglasses
-          First jacket
-          First Easter outfit
-          First Halloween costume
-          First Thanksgiving outfit
-          First Christmas outfit
-          First Christmas PJs
-          First/favorite blanket
-          First sleepsack
-          All personalized birthday shirts (we had special shirts made for each of their birthdays, ages 1-5)
-          Other special shirts that they made/decorated at school for special events/holidays
-          Team jerseys from sports they play
-          Team shirts from sports (Jacob has a couple from soccer with his name on it)
-          First dance recital costume, first ballet shoes, etc.
-          First school uniform
-          A few other outfits/shirts they wore throughout their lives that they loved so much/that had special meaning.  For example, Jacob was obsessed with a particular Superman shirt for years and he wore it so much that it faded and wore completely out.  We also had a Big Brother shirt made for Jacob when I found out I was pregnant with Olivia, and that’s how we announced our pregnancy.  That shirt is a keeper, too.  :o)

All clothing items have a note card attached to them and they are labeled with the date/age of the child and the event for which they wore them or reason why we are saving them.

Here is what our kids’ clothing keepsake boxes look like so far:

Inside of Jacob's Clothing Keepsake Box 

Inside of Olivia's Clothing Keepsake Box 

They’re pretty full already, but I don’t foresee adding too much more to them anyway.

Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

The non-paper items keepsake box contains all other keepsakes that are not paper and are not clothes – stuff like toys, books, trophies, and other knick-knacks.

Jacob's Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

Olivia's Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

Each child’s non-paper keepsake box contains/will eventually contain the following items:

-          Photo album of ultrasound pictures
-          Book of their birth that I made
-          One Line a Day (journals I kept from their first five years of life)
-          Baby book
-          Infant keepsake box (you can see more about the contents of those here)
-          Ticket Stubs book
-          Diaper bag
-          First bottle
-          First sippy cup
-          Rock collection box
-          Souvenir penny book
-          Disney Autograph book from our Disney trips
-          Mickey ears from their first Disney trip
-          Favorite stuffed animal
-          Very favorite toys through the years
-          Very favorite books through the years
-          Trophies/other medals that don’t fit in their school keepsake boxes
-          Flowers/corsages from first dances, etc.
-          Other random school projects that they want to save that don’t fit in their school papers keepsake boxes (posters, pottery, picture frames, etc.)
-          Other special keepsakes, souvenirs, collectibles, etc.
-          Hard drive of all pictures, videos from their lives (I’ll add those way down the road when they’re older)

Here is what our kids’ non-paper keepsake boxes look like so far:

Inside of Jacob's Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

Inside of Olivia's Other Non-Paper Items Keepsake Box

They both still have lots of room to grow!  

And here are close-ups of the infant keepsake boxes, baby books, birth books, and ultrasound photo albums for each child that are in the bottom of these boxes:

Jacob's Ultrasound Photo Album, Birth Book, Baby Book, and Infant Keepsake Box

Olivia's Ultrasound Photo Album, Birth Book, Baby Book, and Infant Keepsake Box
And that’s it, y’all!  Simple.   

If you aren’t as sentimental as we are, then you may make it your goal to just have ONE keepsake box for all non-paper keepsakes where you combine clothes, toys, books, and other knick-knacks together.  I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of all of their first little outfits, so that’s why we designated an entire box just for clothes. 

And we just keep these boxes in the back corner of the kids' closets!

Now that I have all of the keepsake posts in writing and on the blog, I’m planning to do one big keepsake post to sum up everything!  That way everything will be in one place, and you will have a nice, organized guide to help you organize every single keepsake for your own children. 

Stay tuned!

Don't forget to link up with us below!  

Time for a link party! Blogging friends, share your post below and meet your hosts! 

Keri at Keri Lynn Synder / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!


  1. This is so sweet. It makes me wonder if my parents kept any of my old clothes or blankets - definitely will be asking when I talk to them next!

  2. Your recently work was really good, and this is also amazing. I like it and I'll share it with my friends soon. They are also our art group members so they will also love these things....
    payday loans

  3. Your oraganizing brilliance shines again! I love these ideas!

  4. I wish I kept some of those adorable first outfits! I do have a box of keepsakes with blankets and other cute things for each kid, so I guess I'm organized too!

  5. I would be lost without those bins, they're great to store things. My parents did little treasure chests for us and we start the boys with a few things.

  6. I seriously need you to come and do this in my house...please?! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  7. Wow is all I can say. I do not have of the stuff that you have kept for you two. Mostly I just am not sentimental about stuff. I have a few baby outfits that I am going to have made into a quilt and we have the paper school box but that is it. Constantly amazed at how well you keep up with all of this.

  8. Love the idea of color coded storage boxes. I need to start doing this with Serena's keepsake clothes as I can't seem to part with A LOT of items <3

    Green Fashionista

  9. I do this with my kiddos too and store it all in the attic except I could probably condense some of their stuff now!

  10. I have clothes stored like this in a plastic tote, but I LOVE the idea of attaching a note as to what and why. So so smart, thanks for the idea!

  11. I really need to organize this! For years we have just thrown things I wanted to keep into a bucket and put it in the attic. No rhyme or reason. Just things I thought I would want if we ever had another baby, or things that I loved on Mason and couldn’t see myself parting with. I need to bring it all down and organize it like this. Thanks for the awesome tips!

  12. Cute idea! I only saved their Christening outfits and their baby quilts I made them.

    1. I want to do a baby quilt with all of the clothes one day, too! I'll have to pay someone to do it, though, because I can't do it myself!

  13. I love all of these. I need to be better about doing this for my kids.


Thank you for taking the time to comment... I read and respond to each and every one! However, if you are a no-reply blogger (meaning that your email address is not connected to your Blogger account), I will not be able to reply to you directly via email... you will have to check back on the blog post for a response!