Over the years of journal writing, I realized that keeping a journal is not just requiring time and effort but also… space to keep and store them. Especially if you are keeping a physical journal.
When the quarantine came, I thought of decluttering my space and do some re-organization. That was just the time that I’ve seen again the old journals that I kept years ago and I thought, “what should I do with these old journals?”
Since the end of 2020 is almost near, it’s a great time to talk about what to do with old journals or what you’ll do with the journal that you kept this year.
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What to do with Old Journals?
1. Re-read your old journal entries and write an entry about it.
I knew it! You saw it coming. Yup! Re-read your old entries. If you were like me and you don’t usually re-read your journals because you think that it’s boring or “cringy”, consider re-reading it before tossing or burning it out because there are actually advantages when you do it. Think about it like “letting go ceremony”.
One of the benefits of re-reading an old journal is you will discover yourself more.
You don’t have to re-read the whole journal notebook that you kept. I suggest that you re-read at least one page from your old journal.
It’s like time-travelling or literally looking back.You are basically seeing the old you, old thoughts, old memories, and old feelings while you are now living in the present. So it’s really great to discover yourself more. To do that you might want to ask these questions:
In that chapter or page that you re-read in your journal….
- What is that scenario that made you thought or feel that way? Is it still happening today? Why?
- How will you react or feel about it now?
- What advice you can give to the old you that you just read?
By doing that you will have the measure of your personal growth and how far you’ve come now.
Another advantage that you can get from re-reading your old journals is you will find some inspirational quotes that you literally wrote before.
Writing your own quotes or some inspirational statements that you just re-read is actually fun to do. You can write it in a piece of paper, take a photo of it, or write a journal entry about it.
2. Create space for your journals.
Tossing out your old journals is some kind of painful as it was like throwing out the memories that you’ve kept over the years, so if you decided to keep them you might want to create space for them.
You can store your journals along with your books in your bookshelves or create a DIY shelf exclusive for your beloved journals only.
Storage boxes are actually enough to preserve your old journals, however, I discovered that it’s also great to use cubbies to organize them neatly along with your other home decor. You can DIY it, check this out:
3. Use the pages to draw or paint over it.
Using your old journals as your sketch notebook is like giving it a second life.
You can sketch or paint over them. Whenever you feel an artist’s block hunts you and you don’t have any idea of what to create or draw about, try re-reading your journal entry and then, sketch on that same page about the idea that pops-up in your mind as you re-read it.
4. Burn or shred your old journals.
Lastly, you can burn or shred your old journals.
Some people choose to do it as part of letting go of their past and freeing their old self.
Also their journals are too private for them and they are afraid that someone will find it and read it once they keep it. So what they do is throw it away in the recycle bin, burn or sched it after they finish it.
There are journal writers that do not actually keep their journal. They toss it right after they finished filling up the pages. A YouTuber, Gabrielle of Documented Journey called it “throw-away journal” or “burn book/journal.”
Those are the 4 ideas that I suggest for you to do with your old journals. Don’t worry too much about keeping them or letting it go, what matters is the experience and how it helped you to become who you are today.
So what did I do to my old journals?
Well, I decided to throw it out but I re-read it first (I found lots of non-sense and cringy entries. Lol) and kept some pages that means a lot to me, you can do that too!
But if you’re planning to start a journal again, I’ve created a worksheet to start meaningful journal writing! Sign up here to download the copy or simply click a button below!
I hope this post helped you to decide what to do with your old journals. I am really curious what you will do with them, share in the comments below!
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Jocelyn is a coffee lover who believes that a bad day with coffee is better than a good day without it. You can find her obsessing over stationery, hanging out with her cat, or singing her favorite Taylor Swift songs.