My mother recently mailed me all of the medals I earned at debate and speech tournaments in high school. She found the 30 medals in a zip-top bag in a desk drawer and thought I'd want to have them. The funny thing is that I thought I already had them in a box of memorabilia at my house, so it was quite a surprise to get them in the mail.
I decided that I didn't need to keep all of them, especially the medals for fourth, fifth, and sixth place I earned at regular season tournaments. I photographed these 14 medals and put them in a bag to take to my local trophy shop to be recycled. The other medals, however, were more difficult to decide their fate.
A few of the medals I wasn't okay with immediately tossing were from national qualifying and state tournaments, one medal was the first medal I ever won as a novice debater, another is just a downright impressive looking medal (it's a carved lion). Looking at the 16 remaining medals, though, I can't think of a single reason to keep them except to spark memories. I'll never display them in the house, and I can't imagine anyone else wanting to display them either.
Ultimately, I decided to photograph and get rid of all of them. I sent my national qualifying and state tournament medals to my high school's historical society and recycled the rest at my local trophy store.
If you're someone who wishes to keep your medals, I recommend displaying them. Remind yourself of your accomplishments — don't hide them in a box in a closet or basement. A shadowbox frame is perfect for these displays, and is what I would have used had the medals been more important to me (like placing in a marathon — I would definitely display that medal). Keep only those things you value, and unclutter the rest.