Busy Mama’s Memory Can

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Please tell me I’m not the only mom with more than one empty baby book taunting me from the closet. In the classic motherhood cliche, I created a robust baby book for my oldest – chronicling every time he smiled, moved or pooped.

But #2 and #3?

The pictures I’ve taken are somewhere on my computer. The words they’ve said are (hopefully) tucked away in my head somewhere. And I don’t even notice when kids poop anymore. (I wait for my husband to notice.)

I don’t want to forget that my kids spent all day yesterday trying to teach the dog how to moo because I wouldn’t let them get a cow. Or that my oldest just started riding his bike without training wheels. Or that the baby climbs on the table every chance he gets.

Luckily, there’s an easy way for us to remember all of these amazing things in life – without digging those empty baby books out of the closet.

Busy Mama's Memory Can

Introducing, the Busy Mama’s Memory Can

Anytime your kids do something that you want to remember, take a piece of scrap paper, jot it down, date it, and toss it in the can. No more mommy guilt for not documenting things in a baby book. No more forgetting the magical moments of childhood… like this one:

And they’re very easy to make!

You can purchase new, never-been-used paint cans at your local paint store for less than $3 each. Wrap the outside in scrapbook paper (it takes two sheets), wrap the handle with yarn – and you’re finished! (Here are more detailed instructions on how to decorate the can.)

Make one for yourself – and then make one for the other busy mama’s in your life!

Here’s a printable to include with your gift:

Never forget things like this again!

How do you keep up with your kids’ memories?


  1. says

    Fabulous idea! After 4 kids I still find little slips of paper I wrote “said kitty” or “first tooth” for different kids tucked here and there. The youngest is 12 and I’m still trying to put together the baby books. Awesome idea and easy too.

  2. says

    That’s such a great idea! Thankfully I did keep a list of the cute words my kids would say, but I never thought of recording little phases and actions.

  3. Tabitha says

    I bought a cute decorated paint can like this awhile back at a craft fair. The vendor’s ideas for use were not as good as this. I actually ended up using the paint can sort of like a time capsule of my daughter’s first year. I kept baby items like first pair of shoes, wrapping paper from first bday, etc.

  4. Jarvae says

    I love this idea! I’m going to make two for a friend who just had her 2nd child… then she will have one for each child. The only thing I think I will add is to tie a pen to the handle. All the moms I know can never find pens when they need one!

  5. Joanne H says

    Brilliant! I still have a little note jotted down at an event my sons and I attended 12 years ago when they were 6 and 9. That note can take me back to that moment in a heartbeat. If I had waited to record my 9 yr olds words in his book they would have been lost. I’m grateful I didn’t wait that one time.

  6. Erica says

    This is great! So far I’ve been kind of doing this but in my day planner – it’s a weekly everyday day planner but I try and write something down each day that my now 17 month old was doing. Like the day he started “dancing” (4 days ago :-)

  7. says

    My daughter is now 19, for her high school graduation last June my mom and I took the time and sent her memories to a special e-mail address that I created just for that. I lost custody of her baby book when her dad and I split up many years ago, so I don’t have that. But I have to say, she loved being able to log into that e-mail address and read through the memories told by our perspective.

  8. says

    I adore this….with my first, I documented EVERYTHING. My poor 2nd (Miss Sydney) and her memories are shoved into a random goodie bag grabbed from a bday party….pathetic, I know. This would be in your face and pretty to boot! Pinning to remember to create a memory can!

  9. says

    I love this idea – I think I should make myself one.

    I have these great ideas to blog them but then I find myself saying a day or two later to my husband, “what was that cute thing Connor said yesterday?”

    Of course we can’t remember a thing by then!