When we were clearing out my mum’s house after she died, it really made me think about all the personal items we hoard. We hold onto our memories, but after we die, there’s no purpose for them. Yes family photos may be kept (although for the life of me I don’t know where the ones I kept have gone), but holiday snaps and other momentos don’t mean anything to other people to pass on.

Decluttering is big business at the moment, what with the Kon Mari method still going strong, and people wanting to clear out their lives of the things that are no longer necessary. So if you have kept journals for years, you might be debating what to do with them. I know my friend Kate over at Darktea still has all her diaries and journals from her childhood days. But some people don’t want to have to store lots of notebooks.

What to do with old journals over time - Bubbablue and me

So what can you do with your old journals?

1, Read them. It’s obvious, but read them back. They’ll make you smile, frown, laugh and cry (in a good way hopefully)

2, Make an ebook or digital book. If you don’t have the storage and need to get rid of the journals but don’t want to lose the words, why not type them up into an ebook.

3, Craft with them. Or rather the pages. If you’ve had your use of them, why not use key passages to decoupatch an item, or create frames of words as keepsakes

4, Keep them digitally. Simply scan them In (and back them up), but make sure you’re saving them with filenames that you can organise and find at a later date.

5, Create a decade ‘year’ book or scrapbook. If you’ve still got old photos and souvenirs like gig tickets, why not put them together with your journal entries to create decade books.

6, Remove key passages and add them to birthday cards or presents of friends who’re mentioned in those passages. A walk down memory lane for them, and a chance to reminisce.

7, Hide them. In the garden, in a secret cubby hole in a house, for someone in future to find.

8, Burn them. If you don’t see any value in keeping them, aren’t sentimental or are just decluttering, then get rid of them.

I only kept a diary for about 5 years but I wish I’d kept some of mine, if not all of them, just some key passages to look back on. Instead, I was ruthless and just threw them all out. I wonder if anyone found them and wondered who on earth I was writing a lot of tosh.

If you keep old diaries what do you do with them?

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

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12 Comments

  1. I still have all of mine, well actually they are in my parents attic! Thankfully they are not keen on having a clear out anytime soon. It would be interesting to get them down for a read, but they may then make me take them home. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • I think my mum having a clear out was obviously why I got rid of mine. It’s a shame you’ve not got them readily available to read.

  2. In many ways I guess we are keeping diaries now with our blogs. I love your ideas as they hold so many memories and are fascinating to re-read. It is nice to keep things and know that grandchildren can read parts of them some day. A beautiful post. #sharingthebloglove

    • I wish I’d kept mine now (and my school leavers books), but I was ruthless when clearing out one day.

  3. Oh, I have all of my old diaries still – I never throw anything like that away! Luckily I was never that prolific, so the storage isn’t really an issue, but these are lovely ideas for ways to use them. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • I wish I’d kept mine now, but they were just a hassle having around (I’m usually a hoarder, but I was ruthless)

  4. I have holiday diaries; whenever we were going away I’d start a diary whether it was as a child or when I was older with the OH. Funny, no other time of year I wanted to write one – now I have a blog!!
    #ListLinky
    x

    • Must have been something our parents encouraged a lot because I used to do a scrapbook/journal every summer holiday!

  5. I’m a hoarder – these are great ideas! I like the thought of putting passages in birthday cards etc #thelistlinky

    • I wish I had mine left just to do things like that. They’d be great for big birthday memory boards etc too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  6. I have held onto mine but only the ones since meeting my current husband. My previous journals are just cringey and make me feel nauseous reading them.

    • That’s nice you’ve got a record of your relationship. It’s always a bit weird reading them back!

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