Time Capsule as a Service
January 19, 2014 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is there somewhere I can send the 'stuff of nostalgia' and retrieve it some time in the future?

As part of my yearly stuff-purge I'm wondering if it's possible to store stuff like old journals, print photos, letters, and nicknacks that I'd like to keep but don't want to put in my closet or accidentally trash in future cleaning purges?

Basically it would be like a safe deposit box by mail, and bigger. That said, I've never used a safe deposit box before, so maybe it fits the bill, or it doesn't. Does this exist?
posted by tmcw to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You're looking for commercial storage by the box instead of by the storage unit, and I don't think it exists. Why not buy a good plastic storage bin, put the stuff in there, seal it up with tape, and with a permanent marker write up what's in, and maybe, "Open in 2023." Put in back of closet and forget.
posted by beagle at 3:58 PM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm a big fan of FutureMe.org-- it's basically what you are describing for an email and (optionally) a small photo. I really like your idea a lot-- I wonder if you could make use of a service like FutureMe and combine it with something like... a safe deposit box.

You could write an email to yourself in 15 years: "Don't forget about the stuff you put in that safe deposit box at First Bank of Wherever at 123 Main St in Wherever, Minnesota."

There are a few problems I could see with this:

1. Safe deposit boxes aren't cheap. I think our local bank charges $25/year. You might be able to pre-pay, but 10 years is still going to cost you $250, which might be more than you are willing to spend on the project.

2. You'll want to go with a LOCAL bank for this, one that is likely to still be around 10 years from now, and not one that will suddenly be Bank of America or something. Even going with a big bank, you might run into problems with consolidations or mergers or something.

3. Safe deposit boxes are really small. You could fit some letters or small (moleskine-style) journals, but the one I have, you couldn't even put a hardcover book in it.

I'm looking forward to seeing answers to this!
posted by gregvr at 5:05 PM on January 19, 2014

This sounds like something you could enlist a couple of friends for.

Maybe you all make a pact to store each other's memory capsules (sealed, locked, or whatever), and agree on a future date to send the stuff to each other.
posted by vickyverky at 12:09 AM on January 20, 2014

We struggle with the same situation and what has worked best is limiting a year's worth of stuff to a specific sized container (eg. A smaller sized A4 archive box) and labeling it with "gumpf 2013".

Regular sized boxes make them easier to store together and _ limits_ how much you can store. Using the specific name of Gumpf for "stuff of nostalgia" makes sorting much easier. "put it in my gumpf box!" Knowing that a box contains gumpf also makes it easier to identify when cleaning

While the above doesn't answer your question specifically - maybe you could rent a larger P.O. Box and ship stuff to yourself?
posted by pipstar at 1:50 AM on January 20, 2014

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