Spring is on the horizon and for many, the warmer temperatures are an indicator that it’s time to clean their home from top to bottom. Unused items are discarded and donated. High-value items are sold online or at garage sales. But for the traveler, there are usually quite a few items which are left behind each year. These items never make it to the donate pile, neither are they sold or thrown away. The collection usually grows with each destination traveled. If you’ve guessed that I am referring to souvenirs and travel memorabilia, then you are correct.

So what does a traveler do with the many souvenirs and collectibles from jaunts across the globe? Here are a few quick suggestions to turn that pile of memories into featured treasures in your home.

Photo Credit: Holly Burkholder

1. Create a gallery wall.

Make a statement by turning your favorite travel pictures, art, and collectibles into a featured space on your wall. There are endless possibilities to highlight your favorite moments, countries visited, art, or other collectibles from around the globe. Not only are gallery walls a great aesthetic to any space, they are awesome conversation starters when entertaining. When you aren’t jet-setting to exotic locales, a gallery wall will serve a reminder of your journeys.

2. Make souvenir shadow boxes.

Shadow boxes are a great way to showcase your souvenirs and collectibles. Save your ticket stubs, tour pamphlets, maps etc. to create a custom display of your experiences. Shadow boxes may be hung to create a gallery wall or displayed on shelves as a creative way to feature your travels.

3. Create travel photo albums or scrapbooks.

If having your travels displayed in your home isn’t your thing, consider a travel-themed scrapbook or photo album. Either option is a great way to memorialize epic moments in travel.

IMG: Bunte Souvenier-Armbänder aus Guatemala. Marco Verch. Flickr. Creative Commons

4. Make jewelry out of old coins and scraps of fabric

Sometimes you don’t need all of those t-shirts you dragged back from god knows where. Most of the time, just a piece of it can remind you of that vacation. So turn those t-shirts into fabric bracelets or those coins into charms. If you’re not on Pinterest right now searching for different styles, then check out this article.

5. Make a quilt!

You may as well put your memories to work in your home by turning those piles of travel tees into a quilt. It’s the best of both worlds! You can break them out when your cold or want to reminisce, then put them away when guest come over and you want your decor back. If you aren’t a sewing goddess then hit up your local seamstress or use services like Project Repat. For a nominal fee, they will make your quilt for you and now you can sleep under that shirt that reminds you of bungee jumping or getting wasted.

IMG: T-shirt Quilts. Rachel Booth. Flickr. Creative Commons.

6. If DIY projects aren’t your thing, a travel memory chest may be in order.

Chests are a simple solution to all of your travel memorabilia and storage needs. Having your items in one place brings order and organization to small spaces and when you’re older it’s something you can possibly pass down. Place journals, photos, souvenirs and the like in there and close it until the next trip.

7. Create a slideshow and share.

Most of us were inspired to travel by someone in our past. So be that person to kids now. Create an organized slideshow of your photos, gather up some of your wares, and go volunteer. Call your child’s or nephew’s school and talk to the teacher and let them know that you’d like to share your travels with the students. Your wanderlust may be old news to your own family, but for some of these children, you may be the only person they’ve seen that looks like them and actually travels. It’s all about each one, teach one.

Spring cleaning is as much about getting rid of the old and sprucing up the place as it is about renewing your energy. So here’s to your house being in order and your mind getting right for your journeys ahead.

If you have any suggestions on how you organize your travel goods, then please leave them in the comments. Again, each one, teach one.






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