Home Forums Challenges Sentimental Clutter Yearbooks

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  • #160350


    Sorry if this has already been addressed, but I couldn’t see a search function within the Forum to look in previous topics/posts…

    What to do with high school yearbooks – you know those very heavy, glossy, sentimental doorstops. High school wasn’t a necessarily great time, but I was involved in a number of activities and I think I should be keeping them as proof somehow of what I did/accomplished. Plus, just the memories and friends and stuff. One thing I thought of – scanning or tearing out only those pages that are really relevant to my experience and pitching (recycling, if they can be) the remainder. Or…? What have you done with your old yearbooks? We’re gearing up for another move and I really don’t want to schlep these things again to a new place, but find it a bit hard to part with them beacuse they stand as markers of a time in my life. Any thoughts?

    Thanks! Julia

  • #233693



    I’m now in my 60s, and you wouldn’t think I’d have any remaining interest in keeping old yearbooks. And yet from time to time, I enjoy looking through them for various reasons, and I’m very glad I’ve kept them completely intact through many, many moves. I have deep bookshelves, and I store the yearbooks out of the way in the space behind some other shallow books.

  • #233703



    Ah those – I hauled those from place to place for about 12-15 years. Then one day I took one last look at them and tossed them. Lets just say that high school was not a great time in my life, and even though I was in some fun groups the books still didn’t make me happy when I looked at them. I do still keep in low level contact with some high school buddies, but my current best friends were made as an adult.

  • #233704



    I had similar thoughts a few years ago. So I decided to compromise and keep the yearbooks from my senior years of high school and college. Once I resolved this, I opened each yearbook before putting it in recycling. This may sound unbelievable, but when I opened up the yearbook from high school, I was surprised to discover that I had been the literary editor! I had totally forgotten. So much for accomplishments! Ha, anyway it is now back on my shelf.

  • #233843


    I have a yearbook for elementary school (grade 1-6 here). It’s in my memorabilia box right now, but it used to be in my bookcase (when I had one in me previous, enormous bedroom). My high school book was stolen from my car at the graduation after party (who in their right mind would steal a FREE yearbook, filled with personal messages on each page that is not addressed to him/her). I really miss this book, because we left written messages in each others book, and I would love to read them again, particularly from some now-deceased friends (year after high school was tough, we lost 11 person out of a promotion of about 60 kids)

    Here, the tradition is to get a yearbook, but only on your graduation year. So in my case, it would be only two (elementary + high school). Not really clutter, and they would be both very thin). I don’t think I’m gonna have one after university (our department is too small, it would be more like a year sheet).

  • #233850


    I have kept the yearbooks I do have – I didn’t buy one every year, but I have a couple. I think @herisff got to the root of the question – do the yearbooks make you happy when you look at them? If they do, I would hold on to them for a while longer. But if you are considering keeping them to “prove” you took part in different activities, that isn’t a good reason. You have the memories of those activities – and you very well might have other mementos that would be better reminders than your yearbooks would be.

  • #233860


    Give them to a museum and/or the high school or elementary you attended. We want them, yes, really, we do.

  • #233873


    I hauled mine around for 25 years out of pure obligation to the unseen god called OtherPeople’sFeelingsAboutMyStuff.
    I liked school, I was a keener, I have close friendships from that time, but I have no sentimental ties to the school.
    The only thing it was useful for was when friends said, no, that was Robert, you know, ROBERT, how can you not remember ROBERT??? And I’d go look him up. And still wouldn’t remember him.
    Then for our 20th reunion someone of my class had the clever idea of creating a website and forum for high school alumni and scanned in our yearbooks. So I can go look up, y’know, ROBERT, any time I want.

  • #233966


    I not only have high school yearbooks, but I have college yearbooks and my grandfather’s yearbook from the 1920’s.

    Since I work in a school, I also have several small yearbooks produced by the students there as well. (Not for ALL 25 years of employment, thank goodness!) Students love browsing through the Junior High yearbooks and finding people they know, especially younger versions of their teachers!

    As it happened, I married a man who went to the same college at the same time, although we didn’t know each other then (1970’s). It was great fun to discover us in side-by-side dorms and to see candids of my DH in a few photos. I made a Valentine card using a scan of some of those pics recently.

    I love seeing my grandfather’s old yearbook and hope to inherit my father’s as well. These are genealogy references for me, so they are added to my shelf of family history sources and come in handy once in awhile.

    For some ideas on how to divest yourself of them: you can sell yearbooks on e-Bay, donate them to the school, take them to reunions for someone who would like to have one, or send them to the Goodwill. People use these kinds of things for craft projects and someone out there wants your old yearbook!

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