the momento archive project

Sharing our stories about the things we hold onto

Everyone has a drawer.

Or a box. Maybe a basement or even storage unit full of things.

To the outsider it might seem like junk, but to you they’re something you’ve taken with you as you move through life. From your parents home to college, your first apartment to the home you raised a family in.

You’ve been adding to it since you were a little kid, some years more than others. Awards, trophies, notes, books underlined, cards, poetry, stuffed animals, toys, marbles, trinkets from travels, each box is unique.

Objects tell stories, and by going through your keepsakes, it’s clear that you can trace a path of who you were to who you’ve become just by seeing what you kept. People and places once tucked away in our memories can come flooding back. Moments long forgotten suddenly are relived.

While most objects don’t have a monetary value, they’re priceless to their owner.

The momento archive project is a way to tell and share our stories about the things that we hold sacred and have held onto. While most objects don’t have a monetary value, they’re priceless to their owner. These are the things that are keepers of our history. They’ve been there for our greatest joys and deepest sorrows, those times when we were up, and times when we were down. They’re the letters from our fist loves, the teddy bears from our children, the funny notes passed in school, and the things we inherited when someone we love passes.

But why are we holding on to these things?

In the age of Marie Komodo and getting rid of what doesn’t spark joy, or the minimalists, to books about purging and getting rid of possessions, we still hold on.

Objects tell stories, and by going through your keepsakes, it’s clear that you can trace a path of who you were to who you’ve become just by seeing what you kept. People and places once tucked away in our memories can come flooding back. Moments long forgotten suddenly are relived.

Objects tell stories, and by going through your keepsakes, it’s clear that you can trace a path of who you were to who you’ve become just by seeing what you kept.

Do you want to hold on to that memory?

The point

By following these steps, there’s an opportunity to take a look at what you have, what you want to keep, and why you choose to hold onto those things.

Take a look at all the items you have been collecting over the years. You can do this in any way that feels right to you. This means pull out that box. Go through that drawer. Ask your parents what they might be saving that belonged to you.

Take each item and ask yourself “Do I want to hold onto this memory?”

The purge

If that memory isn’t one you’d like to relieve, get rid of it. This could mean

  1. Passing it to someone else who might want it
  2. Recycling/Donating it (if there could be value to someone else)
  3. Throwing it away.

Eventually someone needs to do all of this when we are gone. Why burden family or friends with this task.

If this is a memory you’d like to hold onto, then follow the next three steps. This includes (1) photographing it, (2) writing about it, and (3) choosing a place to digitally store it all together.

Photographing our objects

The point of photographing our objects is to complile our stories into a single place. Think of it as the cloud for our memories. There may come a time when we no longer remember these moments, or we move a great deal, or something happens to them. By keeping a digital archive, you allow yourself a little room to breathe, to feel lighter, and also the opportunity to take them with you wherever you go.

Writing their story

Sharing your memory requires a written portion. In a digital format write down the story of your object. Include as much detail as you can remember. If that object could talk, what would it say? Who was connected to that object? What was their names? How old were you? What year was it? Try to include as much information as possible.

The point of photographing our objects is to complile our stories into a single place. Think of it as the cloud for our memories. There may come a time when we no longer remember these moments, or we move a great deal, or something happens to them. By keeping a digital archive, you allow yourself a little room to breathe, to feel lighter, and also the opportunity to take them with us wherever we go.

Moments long forgotten suddenly are relived when we see an object that has been tucked away for years.

Contribute

If you would like to be a part of this social experiment, please fill out the form below. Share in two paragraphs or less the story of your momento. Do not use last  names. Use the form below to include your story and photo.

By using this site, you agree to allowing us to share this with other platforms and media.

 


About

Susan Fireside

Designer. thinker. mentor. doer. Over-caffeinate mom to Elli and three rescue dogs. Art Director at IIDA. HOW design, Best of Design, 2019.

While most people have been asked the question, “what would you save in case of a fire?” I lost a number of my possessions in a flood. That feeling of knowing something is lost forever, and can’t be replaced, was a sinking one for me. And as a minimalist, I needed to figure out a way to preserve what I had in an organized way. As an amateur photographer, I started taking pictures of my treasures and sharing them on social media, where others reached out wanting to share their stories. I knew there was something there, something we can all relate to, and a need to keep these things alive in some way. That’s where this idea of creating this social sharing platform started. Let’s share our stories with each other.

This site was developed as a way to help you archive you own objects and stories and to share with others in both analogue and digital. It’s meant as a site to share our stories but not intended to preserve your work. Please use a cloud source to archive all of your stories and images.