It is always emotional when you have to leave the family house or a city you have been staying in for a couple of years; you grow attached. It may be a sentimental idea for you to leave behind a capsule of all your memories in that place.
Firstly, you want to find a suitable box to put all the memories in. The box you want to use will depend on where you are storing it. For example, if you plan on burying one underground and want to use a cardboard box, the conditions may be damp and the cardboard may be too flimsy to last long. A thick plastic box, almost like a lunchbox, may be more suitable for burying purposes. I spoke about this in another article, but when my Mum decided to renovate the living room and close off the fireplace, we used a cardboard box that someone would use to put presents in. There is also a factor that if you choose a metal box, it may rust. No one wants to come across a mysterious box, get excited to see what is inside and then discover it is covered in rust. Stainless steel does not rust and would be a suitable container to put all your contents in. Then there are the decorations if you choose to use any. Wrapping paper is a snazzy way to make the box look pretty but it is another factor you have to think about when you are deciding where to place the box if you are going to use it. Or you could channel your inner child and get the paints out! Decorating the box will make it much more personal as it can express who you are and what you are like, which may important if you are expecting this to be found in a good couple of years.
Next comes the contents of your time capsule. The main ingredients are photographs as they are a way for the next person to come across the box to identify who it belonged to. They act as a visual timeline of your life, so start off with photos of either when you were a child or when you first moved in and have one for every member in the house. It is sentimental to see how someone has grown and how life in the house has adapted. A fun thing to do is add a vintage or polaroid effect when you print them off to add character. Another type of image to add is handmade ones, like drawings or paintings. As I have a younger brother and sister in the house we included drawings that they had done, one of them being drawings of the family. It gave the capsule that family atmosphere and our family’s personality. Again, it shows whoever opens your capsule a little bit of your personality, that you like to draw and you have some creativity.
Another ingredient to add could be a letter or two about milestones that have happened in those walls. Add some context to the photos with numerous diary entries so people feel like they were in that moment with you. They add significance to the capsule as you are letting people know what your life was like. This could be a long shot but what if your box was not found for years to come and I mean it gets dug up in the year 2200, your capsule could be a part of history. You could be giving the people of the future an insight into what life was like 200 years ago. It does not have to be about an event that has happened in your life specifically, it could be your opinion on the US Presidential Election or a sexist encounter you had. Who knows what society would be like when your capsule gets unearthed. As dramatic as this sounds, you could have a real impact on the future with only a few pieces of paper. Look at all the famous diary entries you find in museums as an example. That is exactly why we got my younger siblings to write their own letter and what makes it unique is that they were written by the minds of a five-year-old and a nine-year-old.
Then there are a plethora of trinkets you can include to fill the space. Money is always a good one as there is still such a fascinating change with how money will physically appear. Look how it has changed from paper to plastic. Will there be a time when physical money is not ‘a thing’ anymore and it is all done over technology? Will there be any British coinage that will go completely? Take shillings as an example, which was dropped in 1971 and replaced with the pound as we know it today. Another popular object to put in is food, sweets especially as they have a longer expiry date over most other foods. Sweets are constantly changing, there is always a new type of sugary food or one that is being discontinued or rebranded. Even though I have always known a Snicker to be called by that name, my Mum has always called them Marathon bars. It will be interesting for, say even in 30 years, someone to come across a time capsule with food in that they do not have in that year. Again, like with the letters, including food shows the opener of the box what type of person you are by revealing what type of food you like.
Moreover, clippings from magazines and magazines or online stories printed out are great accessories to accompany any letters you include. They are a great way to add context to a capsule as you are setting the time of when to box was made. They could be clippings of when you have featured in the newspaper, ever had a time when you have appeared in the local paper for winning a sports match? Or maybe you have written a piece that has been printed and you have been proud of it? Including a cutting or two can show people what was in the media, what was in the public interest at the time it was written.
Those are just some of the things you can include in a time capsule. Why not trying making one? If you do, get in touch and let us know what you included, even send us photos via our Instagram.