Guest Blogger Lisa Bianco of Picture It Organized STL helps us use photos to keep our memories while letting go of the sentimental items that are cluttering our homes.
Photos are a great way to help you let go of the sentimental items. Sentimental items are the hardest to let go, especially if you are a person who doesn’t know a memento that you didn’t want to keep. The memories that the item brings to you are the reason for the sentimental attachment. Photographs become a way you can keep your memory and toss the object.
Love my stuff too much to let it go.
The item itself does not have value; it’s only an object. It’s the memory you attached to it that brings value to you. The reason we don’t want to let go is the object acts as a memory trigger. It is a way we keep the moment that has passed into the present. It is true we only can keep so many memories in our brain at one time. We are so afraid we are going to lose that memory, we hold on to it forever and never want to let it go. You can’t let your stuff from your past cause a burden on your present life. Get your camera, take a photo! Let the picture act as the memory trigger instead of the sentimental items.
[bctt tweet=”Ditch the stuff and instead tell the story of your stuff through photos.” username=”photoorganizers”]
Time to let it go and tell your story.
Even if we want to, we can’t keep every single item we ever owned. The boxes of items in our basements are filled with memories from our past. Even though we never go through those boxes, knowing they are there brings us great joy. Until we need to downsize and then we are overwhelmed with it all and don’t know where or start. I know you think the easiest thing would be to get a storage unit. Don’t! The items are not worth what you would spend on a unit. Ok, well then I will give the items to my kids. They will gladly take it all. It’s their memories! Don’t be upset if they say “No way!” Our children don’t want all the stuff. They want the story. What better way to tell your story than with pictures. It gives you a visual of your life and takes you right back to the time those items were being used.
Take the photo.
All of these sentimental items are the hardest to let go of and can photograph easily. Once you take a picture, you can create a photo book or folder on your computer.
- Gifts received from loved ones
- Children’s art/school work
- Travel mementos
- Inherited family heirlooms
[bctt tweet=” Take pictures of your memorabilia then let the clutter go.” username=”photoorganizers”]
Follow those steps to make the most of your memories with photos.
- Sort through your items and place them in categories. By placing the items into categories, you will get a better idea of the photo book/folder you would like to create.
- Let go of any items that don’t bring you happy memories.
- Take a picture of the items.
- Tell your story. To your children it might only be an apron. To you it is the apron, your grandma wore every time she baked your favorite pie. That is the story you want to tell. Don’t be afraid to use sights and smells. A great bonus would be if you can find a picture of grandma in the apron.
- Organize your story for each photo in a binder or on your computer.
- Upload your photos/story in a folder on to your computer or to your favorite website for making photo books.
- Make a photo book or store the pictures on your computer and enjoy your memories!
Now you have a beautiful way to tell your story and share your memories without all the clutter. You are more likely to reach for this photo book and then go through all your belongings in your basement. Now you can let those items go and make memories with another family. You can be happy to know you have lifted a significant burden from your life by creating a great keepsake for your family.
If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.
Lisa Bianco is the owner of Picture It Organized STL, a Photo and Residential Organizing Company. She is a Certified Photo Organizer and a Professional Organizer. She is a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers where she serves on their Advisory Board. Lisa is passionate about calming the overwhelm people feel when it comes to managing their irreplaceable memories. She wants to make sure your photos will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Great article Lisa. My I add that photo books are only one way to tell the story. Many of my clients tell their story through Photo Wall Art in the form of Collage Prints and Video Fusion Shows which combine photos, the narrated story and perhaps video clips.
What I like best about this approach is that very few families are sharing the moldy old things that they are saving in their basements. Those treasure, theoretically kept for the children and grandchildren, are forgotten and decaying. By the time the kids even know about them, they usually don’t want them. But those memories in photographic form stop the decay, lessen the emotional trauma of parting with something, and can be shared anytime, and across distances with family members and friends.
So true, Darla! Finding a way to share it NOW helps keep the memories alive.
Great message here and I am proud to say that I have begun to declutter my life and let go of things I never thought I would. I’m proud of myself and this newfound freedom.
That’s fabulous, Linda! There is a special kind of freedom in letting go.
Adhere to this wholeheartedly, we’ve used this since the kids were little – when they didn’t want to part with something (old toy, clothing, etc) we would take photos. Made it much easier! They knew I’d put the photo in an album (most of the time! lol those Happy meal toys didn’t make it!). They started even suggesting it themselves!
Love this idea! Last year I did it with some old race finishers medals that had been stuck in the back of a drawer which I can now donate to medals4mettle. I also did this with some holiday ornaments that I hadn’t brought out in years. Feels great!
So happy I read this – also SO happy to learn about Medals4Mettle!! Thank you all 😀
What if l was that girl who was crazy with making expensive photo books of every memory but then l turned 30 and realised that all those photos were now of people who were not true friends and that guy who was the one ended up being a one year nightmare. People tell me to hang on to those albums because it’s good memories that cost a fortune to create. Well it’s been years and after downsizing to 400sqfoot, should l let go of those memories or will i regret doing so.
I think you toss them. Who cares about the money to make an album. If you cannot show these people these snap shots on social media, then your future children aren’t t going to be connected to the people in the photographs. They will only want pictures of you and your story. If you have a few good pic of yourself stored digitally, then dump it.
I just care across many photos of ppl I am still FB friends with and shared those photos with them. Then I tossed the old photo as I am letting this stand as its digital copy.
Your 400sqft apartment will thank you and you dont need to have those bad memories clouding your future.
Been wanting to do something with the boxes and boxes of photos from mostly family. A lot are in beautiful frames. Where do I start. It looks overwhelming