Please tell me that I am not alone in having a love/hate relationship with photos and memorabilia.

I LOVE the concept of taking pictures, keeping mementos and documenting all the precious moments. When my kids get to the point of not wanting to hang with me, I plan on diving into the boxes and albums that hold all of the sweet and funny memories of my family to remind myself that it’s all still good. What a gift …to temporarily escape the sass, the drama, the stink (based on what I smell now I can only imagine what it will be like in a few years…) to be able to recapture them as sweet and innocent kids. Although after finding this taped to the door when I tucked my 8 year-old in last night, maybe I should start re-visiting those memories now….

(isn’t it funny how innocent he looks while I apparently have steam coming from my head?)

However, I HATE all the work it takes to keep said photos and mementos organized and readily accessible. I would love to tell you that I am a photo ninja like my friend Annie Webb who has a passion for this exact thing and totally rocks it like nobody’s business( contact her for more information)  – but sadly, that is not me.

When it comes to photos and memorabilia I’m all about efficiency and if I’m being honest, short cuts. So in the event that you are like me, I thought I would share my go to products that I rely on to keep the Van Dusen photos and memories alive and well. I use 3 products from The Container Store  and I have to say – for all the years I have been using them, they serve me well and help me to keep this endeavor a rather efficient process.


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  this photo organization system! So here’s what I do… On my computer I create a folder for each month of the year. As I download pics (whenever I get a chance) I save them in the appropriate folder and then I order them online ( is my favorite!), one month per order. Because life gets crazy, I may end up ordering a few months at one time, but I will place each month as a separate order. That way when the envelope with the photos arrives in my mailbox, I can take them and slide each month’s photos into a separate case and label it. VIOLA – Organized Photos! (The bonus is that even if you don’t actually get around to printing them out, they are at least categorized on your computer by month just waiting to be sent to the printer.)



To store all of their memorabilia – stories they’ve written, funny papers from school, team photos, notes they’ve written me (see above), etc. I have a Large Document Case  for each of them. I used fun stickers to put their names on the outside and personalize it for them. They actually love going back through all of their stuff and will access it often.






The last product that I rely on is the Handled Portfolio. This is where I store all of the oversized art pieces that come home throughout the school year and become the bane of our existence when they have nowhere to go.

Fortunately for me, my kids aren’t really artists (unless you count the boys drawing butts on everything “art”) so I was able to fit all of the Elementary School masterpieces in one portfolio for each kid.

And there you have it … maybe one day I’ll have the time and energy to pull them all together and do something with them but for now – it works! And when I feel like I can’t take the sass, the drama and the stink anymore I can go back down memory lane….