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Exclusive articles, interviews, and insights covering downsizing & decluttering, genealogy, photos and other media, aging well, travel, and more. We’re here to help you capture the big little moments and stories to bring meaning and even order to all of life’s collections for generations.
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Artifcts Is Our Love Language

Reading time: 4 minutes 

In 1992, Baptist Minister Gary Chapman published the non-fiction book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. (Side note, if anyone out there has a copy, go Artifct That!) 

The book outlines five ways that romantic partners express and experience love, which he termed, “love languages.” In short, Chapman’s five love languages were words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.  

In our household, although acts of service and quality time are always encouraged, Artifcts has become our go-to love language. It transcends the generations, spans the distances, and lets us all know we are loved.  

Saying I Love You Artifcts Style 

My entire family knows I say I love you with Artifcts. There are freshly baked late-night chocolate chip cookies and banana breads when coming home from school, and of course, the recipes (and love notes) that follow via Artifcts. 

Gifts are given along with the Artifcts (and the explanations for why THIS gift) as are adventures. One of my favorite Artifcts surprises to date has been gifting our then 19-year-old a trip to Iceland, itinerary revealed and documented via Artifcts.  

I am lucky and thankful that the Artifcts go both ways in our household. My husband is especially sweet, Artifcting the moments, mementos, and memories (and cards!) that say, “I love you.” I was brought to tears when he Artifcted a piece of art he bought me AND included an audio recording of him explaining why he picked THAT piece and what it meant to him. Call me strictly sentimental, but I love having his voice safely paired with the Artifct. 

Saying I Love You Across Generations 

My mother-in-law and my husband have an especially meaningful love language in Artifcts. She’s been Artifcting since we launched and now has several hundred Artifcts and counting. She loves being able to share her stories and memories with her children and grandchildren, and my husband loves learning bits and pieces about his mom that he never knew before. (The grandchildren do too!) 

For instance, little did we know that @Grandmom counts an eight-foot python skin among her most prized possessions until she shared the Artifct with us! 


Who knew? We didn't until Grandmom Artifcted it!

My father has also recently gotten into the Artifcting mode, creating and privately sharing Artifcts with our family, documenting his life from 4H to retirement. I learned things about my father I never knew, and that is the greatest gift of all.  

As for us, and our generation? My husband and I Artifct FOR our children since we know they may not always remember the small moments and otherwise important details. My husband Artifcted the older kids’ swim trophies as we downsized, and I routinely Artifct special moments for my daughter, from learning to ride a bike to skiing her first black diamond. Sure, she’ll have the photos, thousands of them, but photos can’t talk and one day she’ll want to know the stories behind those photos.  


First time skiing a black diamond.Important firsts, remembered always. Made with love on Artifcts. 

Saying I Love You Across Distances 

One of the great things about Artifcts is that you don’t have to physically be there to send and share Artifcts. Part of my family lives in Denmark, and we capture and share the small moments, favorite recipes, and special memories via Artifcts.  

I love waking up to a new Artifct from my Danish family. We’ve even utilized Artifcts to subvert the insanely slow snail mail process. This year for my birthday, my Danish family Artifcted my birthday card, complete with photos, a funny story, and videos! It was the best and greenest birthday greeting yet.  

We also create Artifcts Circles when we travel together, or celebrate holidays together, sharing Artifcts, stories, and memories for all to see. It helps make the distances between seem not so large and gives us all something to look back on and cherish until our next time together.  

Creating A Sixth Love Language? 

We’ve come to think of Artifcts as our sixth love language, although I suppose it’s more of an amalgamation of several of Chapman’s original love languages. In our house, Artifcts always include positive words of affirmation. Creating the Artifcts requires quality time and is without a doubt a service to the next (and current!) generation, in addition to being one of the best gifts ever. 

We’re biased for sure, but we can’t think of a better way to say I love you than Artifcts!  

Wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day.


© 2024 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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#HabitChange: The Back To School Edition

Reading time: 2 minutes

Earlier this year, we dove into #HabitChange and sought to highlight the tips and tricks to help you make Artifcting a daily, weekly, or even seasonal habit. We received a lot of positive feedback from that first ARTIcles story, and an equal number of requests for a part two (or three or four!) as we look at specific habits, and specific things that may prompt us to take a moment and create a new Artifct. 

So, without further ado, we bring you #HabitChange, the back-to-school edition.  

Artifcting for a Smoother Transition Back to School + a More Memorable Year

Even if you don’t have kids or grandkids going back to school this year, we think the following tips, tricks, and observations can help anyone that is starting a new routine this fall.  

#1 Artifct Where You’re At 

Our first tip for capturing all those school-based memories and creating #HabitChange is "Artifct where you’re at." While some survival tactics mean pre-planning—pack the bag and pick the clothes the night before, enjoy a healthy breakfast to avoid a low energy and brain power day—when it comes to Artifcting, get in the moment! Artifct on the spot. When the emotion, details, and oh-so-precious memories are fresh and not forgotten.  

  • If you have young kids at home, and they are prone to talking your ear off at a rapid pace, Artifct with them as they come through the front door. Take five minutes to snap a photo, upload to the app, and ask them to tell you the story behind their latest and greatest art project.  
  • Pre-teens and teens? Artifct post-game, post-concert, post-event, you name it! Just scored a winning goal? Great, add the photo, video, and details to an Artifct. Ask them to share their favorite moment of the game, and voila! You now have a multi-media Artifct that captures THAT moment in time. (Or THAT science fair trophy.) 

And we’ll save you a headache with a bonus tip: If dealing with physical objects, take that moment to divide into “keep” and “discard” piles, so you also avoid a rapid accumulation of school-based clutter. 


# 2 Sharing is Caring! 

Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to Artifcts. People often report that following through on new habits is easier when there is external, positive re-enforcement. We’ve found this to be no different with Artifcts.  

  • Did you know you can create a private Sharing List on for hassle-free sharing? Simply select the list from the drop-down menu when you click to share and you’re good to go. Our co-founder Heather created a private sharing list titled “Team Hazel” for all the people who love seeing what her daughter is creating at school. It has saved her from typing in dozens of emails or finding screen names over and over. Instead, she selects the list and hits ‘Send.’ Her daughter loves getting the follow-on calls and texts from family and friends after they’ve viewed the Artifct. So much better than a simple thumbs up. 

# 3 Know Your Purpose 

If you want positive reinforcement, start with a clear purpose. Is it about reducing daily clutter? Do you feel like school years past were a blur and you want to find a fast and easy way to ensure you capture more of the memories along the way? Is it about sharing more with loved ones near and far? We think Artifcting is a 2 for 1; accomplish the goal for YOU and easily share with loved ones. 

Regardless of how and where you Artifct, we hope these #HabitChange tips will help you preserve and share the back-to-school memories with loved ones near and far. Got a tip that works especially well for you and your family? We’d love to know! Email us at and we’ll include your tip in our next #HabitChange story here on ARTIcles by Artifcts.  


You may also enjoy these additional ARTIcles by Artifcts:

How to Artifct Childhood Mementos

Keepsake Boxes, Remembrance Boxes, Memento Boxes

Pint-Sized Perspective on Moving and Decluttering


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Bonus Epilogue: Why One Mom Moved Beyond Memory Boxes and Instagram

Today we have a special contribution from a guest curator who said enough to the status quo. In her case, that means turning a new leaf in her approach to saving family memories and mementos by no longer relying on keepsake boxes, Instagram, and photo albums alone. These were the options that got her through the exhausting early days of motherhood + entrepreneurship + life all jumbled together in what we call LIFE! Now, she’s moving on with Artifcts. 


When Elena, my second daughter, was born 23 months after her sister Estella, I was suddenly in the throes of a very unique and personal post-partum reality. We were still in the midst of COVID and on top of all that, my startup company was just two years old. I was just trying to survive.

While I wanted to capture all of my girls' incredible baby moments, the idea of creating a baby book or scrapbook seemed very time-consuming and utterly impossible at the time. The best I could do was collect random mementos for each of my girls and place them in a box, hoping to alleviate the guilt of not doing more. Ironically, I couldn't even tell you what was in my older daughter's box without taking a look. And even then, many of the items are now a blur. I know what is in Elena’s but only because I just started filling it. 

Then there’s my family and friends, near and far. I post on Instagram so they can at least see the funny things the girls do. But that’s all I mostly post – the funny moments like Estella eating flaming hot Cheetos for the first time or trying to eat the sand at the beach.

While people get a sense of their personalities, there is nothing super personal about my feed. There’s nothing that shows who my girls really are, what they are learning, or what they are experiencing. And you would think they are raising themselves, as I am completely absent, except for my voice from time to time.

Re-experiencing Life through Artifcts 

I recently sat down with my friend Ellen who is the co-founder of Artifcts. Artifcts offers concierge Artifcting and I wanted to support her, so I decided to spend some time together Artifcting. I’ll be honest, I love Ellen, but until we sat down together, I really didn’t get how magical Artifcts is. (Now I see there is literally a testimonial on the membership page that says the same. I should have believed them!)

Before she arrived, I pulled out a few pieces of family heirloom jewelry, some artwork I inherited from my grandmother, and my daughters’ memento boxes. As we Artifcted, I realized how valuable it was to attach a story to an object.  As I was Artifcting my two engagement rings (There's a story!) I realized I could combine the photos with an audio recording of myself telling the story for my daughters, bringing the whole experience to life for them to treasure at a later date. And I can add the appraisal documents for my rings to the Artifct and even say who will get my rings one day in the future (one for each, obviously) That’s not something I can or WOULD do on Instagram.

Artifcts is everything I never knew I needed.

I tried out Artifcting videos and photos already on my phone, clicking share and choosing the Artifcts app. It’s just as easy as posting to Instagram. Now finding a cute memory and photo of Elena is much easier because all I have to do is open the Artifcts app, rather than combing through 1,000s of photos on my phone.

Pause now and create a new Artifct, just for you!  


So, what will I do now?

I’m still going to use Instagram for those laugh-out-loud moments, but I’ll be adding my friends and family to Artifcts so I can share more meaningful moments and objects with them privately. I know I can always post an Artifct to Instagram, too. I now have a digital scrapbook of Artifcts for my girls, for me, and for my family. Once I started Artifcting, I could feel the guilt start melting away. Artifcts is everything I never knew I needed, an easy way to collect my memories and connect them with my family and friends. Moms, Dads, get in there. You won’t regret it. 


Remember, Father's Day is tomorrow!

Take 30% off with code DadStories30. We'll email you a printable gift card, too!

Gift Dad Artifcts to capture his stories! Use DadStories30 code for 30% off.

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Keepsake Boxes, Remembrance Boxes, Memento Boxes - Boxes Abound!

Boxes, binders, and bins, oh my! Maybe you know them as keepsake, remembrance, memento, or memorial boxes. Some boxes even mirror the purpose of a binder, with tabs by topic, checklists, and pouches for loose keys, thumb drives, and other small and useful or meaningful objects. 

No matter what, before you stick any ‘stuff’ in your box of choice and slap on the lid, Artifct it to remember what it is and why it mattered. Unlike boxes, Artifcts are:

      • Instantly and perpetually organized and searchable 
      • Fire and flood proof (some boxes might be, too, up to a point …); no go-box required! 
      • Able to combine text, video, audio, and photos for every item 
      • Easily shareable and accessible online to anyone you choose, anywhere, anytime 
      • Do not take up space or require dusting

And, obviously, the stuff inside your Artifcts collection will not run the risk of outlasting your memories like a box full of stuff will. The memories are captured and preserved. You are no longer the keeper of the memories or the single point of failure behind the mementos. Breathe a sigh of relief!

Keepsake Box Options Abound

For those of us who relish holding onto those curated items that mean the most, we’ve tried to distill here what we’ve learned about the variety of boxes available. A common search on Google is actually acid-free keepsake box, which tells you people care about keeping items for the long haul.

Many major retailers, like Crate and Barrel, The Container Store, Pottery Barn, Target, Hallmark, and Amazon, sell at least one or two. So, we know there’s demand, people are looking for them. We suspect from how they are marketed that a box makes for a simple and obvious gift for special occasions. You’ll see below that the options and qualities vary. There is something for most needs, styles, and price points! 

(Listed in alphabetical order.) 

    • Akin offers custom boxes that fit and showcase the curated items you have chosen to help tell your story - whether it’s memorabilia, journals, photographs, documents, records, or more. What further sets Akin apart is that it offers services bundled around the box for custom-designed books and genealogy research to help commemorate family stories and ancestral histories.

"Present and preserve your keepsakes as opposed to hiding them away. A curated memorabilia box not only holds your most treasured pieces, it should tell their origin story—beautifully and archivally—so they can be cherished and shared for years to come," explained Renee Innis, Akin Founder.

    • Archival Methods offers archival boxes as well as a whole product category for “object storage.” They have additional custom options for fitting objects more snuggly in the boxes, too. 
    • Etsy is a logical choice for creative and custom options you’ve never even knew existed, offering a wild variety of sizes, styles, and materials to match your purpose or occasion. 
    • Nokbox is more about functional preparedness, organizing all of the critical information about your life in a box. If you’re going to store and rely on hardcopy, however, we strongly encourage: (1) fire proof (2) never put passwords into a single physical, hardcopy location, and (3) use a digital equivalent for all your life documentation (e.g., Keylu, TrustworthyGoodTrust, etc ...). Also, digital options are more flexible, less vulnerable, easier to update, and accessible from anywhere. 
    • Petite Keep offers more traditional aesthetics for its boxes, sort of a Pottery Barn or Draper James feel, with customization for initials, patterns, etc. 
    • Savor, in contrast to Petite Keep, offers a cleaner, more basic style like you might find from archival-quality sources. Its collection has expanded to offer drawers for vertically oriented boxes, built-in envelopes, and more to cover whatever ‘stuff’ you might have in mind to combine.  

Need we say it again? Just as we tell you “Before you store it, Artifct it,” before you box it, Artifct it. And slip your Artifcts collection QR code inside for safe keeping of all those stories, videos, and more from your Artifcts collection. Your future self will thank you! And if you need a little help getting started, check out Artifct concierge options. ->

My Artifcts homepage with option to create personal collection QR code

Each Artifct has a QR code as does your Artifcts Collection. Access it from My Artifcts -> 

Before We Go, a Word to the Wise: Know What You’re Buying

Archival does not always mean archival. What? Yes; sad truth. Sometimes archival only means the paper is acid free. And if you are a proponent of recycled paper, you have another potential recipe for disaster once you shut objects inside and create a little microclimate for terrible things to brew.

If you are popping items into a box that you truly cherish, do the homework on your archival products, or speak to a professional. You can contact nationwide companies like Archival Methods—one of our Allies in 'Stuff'—and Gaylord Archival or seek out archivists in your local area for guidance, products, and services.

Happy Artifcting!


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Before You Thin Out That Stuffed Animal Collection, Consider What Scientists Have to Say

Why do we have and keep so many stuffed animals to start with? It turns out, this is exactly the right question to be asking as we mark the start of May - Mental Health Month.
In a recent decluttering spree with my daughter, I found myself unexpectedly sentimental over so many she was ready to part with because I not only remembered when and from whom she got each, but I could picture her toting them around with her, cuddling them on car trips and during naps, and setting them up to play school.  
My conversations with my daughter about these stuffed toys all went something like this:

Me: You don’t want kitty? 
My kid: No, she’s really big. 
Me: But you and your cousin each got one together when we went to Disney. You insisted they watch the fireworks with you. 
My kid: I don’t remember. 
Me: O-kay. [Into the donation bag it goes.]

Imagine my surprise when trying to pick some of the stuffed animals to rehome and donate that I learned about a series of studies, first published back in 2014 in the journal Psychological Science by researchers at VU University Amsterdam that touched on my stuffed animal dilemma. “These toys are more than toys,” I consoled myself.

What Research Tells Us About Stuffed Toys

The research team at VU University Amsterdam investigated how interpersonal touch, including holding a teddy bear, influenced self-esteem in those who are more prone to depression and anxiety. And these are certainly anxious times in the world for us all with global pandemics, extreme weather, and a sea change in the US education system to name a few culprits.

Care Bear Cousins Plush Purple Stuffed Animal - COZY HEART PENGUIN 14"

Some stuffed animals even have “care” built into the name,  
like the Care Bears, popular in the 1980s.
You’ll probably not be surprised to learn that the study confirmed what many of us sense intuitively: touch can calm our fears and anxieties. The study also suggested touch is a means of increasing social connectedness and found that these effects are strongest among those of us who have strong intrinsic motivation.  
I mean, what’s the alternative when you’re on your own? Snuggling up to a digital device? Or, as in the researchers’ study, a cardboard box? We didn’t think so.  
We’re sharing this in hopes you go easy on yourself and your kids when you’re feeling overwhelmed by so much stuff, including stuffed animals. Stuffed toys can play an important role in how we relate to the world and cope with whatever it throws at us.
collection of stuffed bunnies
Some bunnies in this little girl’s collection made the cut, others did not. First, she Artifcted them.

Bonus! Want to learn more about the science of stuffed toys?

If you want to dig into some of the science yourself, check out some of the resources we also explored:

Kid ‘stuff’ on your mind? You may also enjoy these related stories from ARTIcles by Artifcts: 
Pint-Sized Perspective on Decluttering and Moving
15 Decluttering Targets for Artifcters
Who Wants This Rocking Chair?

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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How to Artifct Childhood Mementos

The Details Make the Memory 

This is a good one for the whole family to join in on, even nannies and other caregivers who knew your little one when or maybe even knew you when. Digital photos and files have created false security and a lot of chaos. All you have is a trinket, a piece of clay art, or a photo (if you can find it), and whatever you can remember about it as time goes on. We can do better for the daily moments that make us smile and the big events that fundamentally change our lives. Childhood, a history, at your fingertips with Artifcts.

You may already know the combinations for Artifcts are endless. When it comes to all things childhood, here are some favorites: 

  • Record you, or a loved one, reading your favorite story + include a photo of the book (or you with it!) + tell the story of why you loved it so.
  • Write down the story of “the day you were born” + photos of baby’s first outfit + blanket + bracelet or hat. 
  • Annual traditions make great Artifcts: Every Halloween costume, school photo, summer trip, and homemade holiday craft, show not just growth but how preferences and personality change, too.
  • Video snippets of littlest voices: Words they couldn’t pronounce, funny expressions, singing songs, “mastering” a new song or sport, chattering with pets. These are the best moments!  

Ceramic bird

Click the image to view the story of the Artifct about Twilight the Bird. 

Don’t Forget 

We all forget. We’re all busy. Take the 30 seconds to Artifct that so it can accumulate without thinking and build a history to last generations.

Don't want the world to see those childhood firsts? Sharing privately is simple with Artifcts! You can create family circles so that you can keep everyone up to date on the big and little moments and others can contribute as well. You won’t be there for every moment and it’s fun to see your kid through another’s eyes. 


Artifcts Gift

Consider gifting the mom in your life Artifcts. Imagine all those "I never knew that about you!" moments that await.

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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