Why Fixer To Fabulous' Jenny Marrs Keeps A Bowl Full Of Rocks On Her Bookshelf

What is it about vacations that tricks us into splurging on overpriced souvenirs? Eager to preserve the pleasant memories from our trips, we scoop up tchotchkes and tie-dye t-shirts we're unlikely to ever wear. If you're tired of spending money on shoddy souvenirs that clutter your closets, you might consider the simple budget-friendly solution "Fixer to Fabulous" star Jenny Marrs uses in her own home.

In an interview with Homes and Gardens, Marrs explains how she and her family collect a rock from each of the places they travel. The rocks are labeled with the date and destination and placed in a wooden bowl on one of the family's bookshelves. In addition to being free, the rocks spark joy and serve as visual reminders of their trips. "Every time I look at that bowl, I smile," said Marrs. "It makes the space personal, and it's a story of our family and our life."

Whether it's a bowl full of rocks on the bookshelf or a collage of postcards in the entryway, souvenirs make your home feel unique and special. They add character and tell stories about your experiences. But souvenirs don't have to be pricey, and the best ones aren't always found in gift shops.

How to use souvenir rocks to personalize your space

Rocks make wonderful, albeit potentially heavy, vacation souvenirs. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and you can find them almost anywhere. But collecting rocks isn't completely harmless. They serve as homes and hiding spots for many animals. They also regulate water flow and act as barriers to erosion. Limiting your collecting to one small rock per trip minimizes potential environmental impacts ... and reduces the risk of getting hit with an overweight baggage fee. Be aware that collecting rocks is prohibited in some areas, including state and national parks and many beaches.

Another reason rocks make good souvenirs is that they blend well with any design style. They look equally at home in an industrial loft as a beachside bungalow. But moderation is key. While you could scatter your geological finds across several different rooms, they'll look less like clutter and more like an intentional design decision if you gather them all in one place. You might follow Marrs' lead and pile them in wood or ceramic bowls, but they also look lovely in mason jars and other glass containers. A vase filled with rocks lends a spa-like vibe to bathrooms, while a tray filled with souvenir rocks on the dining table serves as a great conversation starter when entertaining. You can even use rocks to add some zen ambiance to your yard by placing them in or alongside tabletop fountains.

Other ways to personalize your space with vacation souvenirs

If your travel destinations include more streetscapes than landscapes, there are many other free or inexpensive travel mementos you can pick up to personalize your space. Postcards are a low-cost and sometimes free souvenir. They are also lightweight and easy to pack, so you can grab as many as you like. While they're a gift shop staple, you can also find postcards in gas stations, drug stores, and local markets. At home, you can frame them to add to a gallery wall or put them in a fancy photo album and use as a coffee table book. You can also add magnets to the back and display them on your fridge. Swap them out every so often to spotlight different trips. While they're definitely not free (and probably not inexpensive, either), corks from special bottles of wine or champagne also make great travel mementos. And, like rocks, there are many ways you can repurpose corks around your house. If you travel frequently and drink enough wine, you can even convert your keepsake corks into a stunning accent wall.

Whether they're natural or manmade, souvenirs are a great way to inject your personality into your space. By displaying them in your home, you can revisit happy memories whenever you want. A bowl full of rocks on the bookshelf will bring you more joy than a dusty box full of key chains and shot glasses in the closet.