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My book: Decluttering at the Speed of Life
More podcasts on the Container Concept:
Containers and Limits and How They’ll Change Your Life
Schedules and Time Management Podcast
Blog post: One Thing Over My Clutter Threshold
We had my mother-in-law’s family photos. We’re doing an extreme downsizing, and so most of them had to go. First we scanned them all and put them on Dropbox, letting any family member who wanted access to have it. We offered them to family members, and many were claimed that way. The rest we took to a family reunion, spread them out on a table and said, “take what you want.” If there were any gems still left, we brought those few home and still offer them around at family gatherings. But mostly what was left were snapshots that weren’t very meaningful, so those we tossed.
Dana White says
I LOVE this! Such a great solution!
Well before there was any way to store them electronically the rest of the process Darleen describes is how I got my treasured collection of old family photo’s. When my Great Grandmother passed her children (including my grandmother) went through a similar process, they went through the house and claimed items they each wanted for themselves or their children and then they let the next generation (my mother included) go through the house and claim things they wanted. Once that opportunity was taken advantage of by those who chose they had an Open House for the rest of the family which of course included my generation. I remember there were long tables with all kinds of nick knacks layed out in each room and the barn (where I found most of my goldmine) though it wasn’t as organized and hadn’t been combed through the way the house had been. Anyway there were boxes full of mostly framed old family photo’s most of which were also of people I had heard about but never met, long passed before my time. My Great Grandmother was from a well off and old (original settlers) family, her grandfather the source of most of her money so I am fortunate to have a heritage that included so many photo’s from the time they first became a luxury only some could afford. The family photo’s that had filler her house were mostly claimed long before my generation got to join in but these boxes of really old ones that had long before been stored away didn’t seem to be of any interest to anyone else so I took a bunch and then took what was left in the boxes at the end of the weekend rather than have them go to goodwill or get tossed. I am so, so grateful that in my early 20’s I had the sense to do this even though I was often chastised for taking stuff to store over the years. I have a wall of these old photographs and it has been the only thread to this family history for my son who was born long after Gram and her house were gone, her belongings divided up and years later as my brothers grew up and had families of their own suddenly I am so lucky to have them and how did I get them and no one else did, LOL. My mom even remarks on how I managed to get all of these family photo’s, of course she too has many more than she knows what to do with between hers and my grandmothers (some having been the ones displayed throughout Gram’s house) most of which she inherited when my grandmother passed. I count myself and my family so lucky to have all of these old photo’s to come across and talk about each time we go through stuff and “organize”. We are now slowly finding time to scan them into an electronic data base as well but truth be told there is no substitute for having something tangible to come across, admire and trigger memories or simply ask who this is and how they are related.