Memory Jar, 2012 Edition

Happy New Year, readers! This year instead of coming up with any resolutions and looking forward, Matt and I took a little time on New Year’s Eve to look back. We did this with the help of a little DIY project I started over a year ago – a simple memory jar. I originally took this idea from YoungHouseLove, where I believe they do this during the month of November to keep track of what they are thankful for, but I modified the project a little and lengthened the time period to a full year.

The jar we used was a large mason jar that I spray painted white. It’s not perfect, and I had intended to paint some words on there, maybe with some chalkboard paint, but of course I never got around to it. In the end, the jar served it’s purpose anyway.


So, for the past year Matt and I have been saving little mementos – ticket stubs, receipts, a score card from mini golf – or just jotting down random memories on scraps of paper and leaving them in the jar, which we placed out on our console table by the front door so it would always be within our view. Then, on New Year’s Eve came the best part – it was time to empty the jar and read through the last year.


It doesn’t look like a lot here, but there was a good amount to read through.

Sifting through the memory jar was more fun than we both expected it to be. There were plenty of things we remembered clearly, and would have remembered without the memory jar, like watching our friend Irene run her first half marathon:


Or the time we visited our friend Dustin for a weekend:

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But there were also some smaller things we may have forgotten if we hadn’t written them down and left them in the jar:


Part of the fun was that each time we sifted through another item, we wanted to text someone and remind them of the memory too, as evidenced below.



We’ve already decided to keep the jar out again this year and fill it with all the great things we’re hoping 2013 will bring, but as far saving this year’s items we decided to scrapbook them. I picked up a Smash Journal from Michael’s for half off and as soon as we choose some pictures from the past year, we’ll get those printed out and add them to the items from the jar.┬áSo far the memory jar has to be one of the easiest, cheapest, and still rewarding, projects we’ve done, and will hopefully continue to do.

What about you guys – any New Year’s traditions out there that go beyond the typical resolutions? Or are you super serious about resolutions and are among the few people who are able to work on them and keep them all year? (Although after looking through that memory jar I’m starting to think maybe I should make a resolution to improve my handwriting…)