One of the most common questions Life Your Way readers ask when we talk about decluttering and organizing is how to organize photos. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be talking about all things photo-related with a special series from the Association of Personal Photo Organizers!
The following is written by Mikie Smithers:
As the mother of two, I am inundated with potential “memorabilia”. My children are always bringing home certificates, ribbons, notes, and schoolwork, not to mention the “art masterpieces”.
Keeping a collection of treasured items is a valuable way to: preserve memories, record information from your past, show your loved ones their importance in your life and showcase your life and interests for future generations.
But, there is a fine line between archiving family history and hoarding. If there isn’t a plan, memorabilia can quickly get out of hand or ruined from improper storage.
Before you throw everything out in frustration, there is a quick and easy solution.
It isn’t necessary to keep every single item of a particular collection.
For example: when completed school work is sent home, sit down with the appropriate child to pick out the “keepers”. Out of the big stack, five maybe keeper items. Look for assignments that they really worked hard on, stories they wrote, or instances when the child told something about themselves. Then, make sure it is signed and dated.
For “keeper” projects, take a photo of the child and their project. You can’t really scan a Native American shelter, can you? The selective rule can apply to any type of memorabilia. If it stirs your emotions when you look at it, it is a “keeper”.
The keepers are stored in a “safe” method. My preference is to scan them and create a digital image. Then, annually create a digital album. Other choices may include an archival-quality photo album or storage box.
Enjoy your treasure.
One of the key benefits to memorabilia is memory recollection so they should be placed in something accessible. Otherwise, they can’t be enjoyed. A box in the top of the closet works but an album on the living room shelf is better.
Toss the rest.
After the keepers have been preserved, throw the rest away!!!
Repeat as necessary.
If you have a routine to do this regularly (monthly, seasonally, etc.), it is a manageable 30 minutes start to finish. However, if you wait until you have the time, you will accumulate even more and more and more until it is overwhelming and stressful.
A family archive of memorabilia can be rewarding for generations to come. With a few organization tips, it is a process that is simple and stress-free.
What do you treasure?
Mikie Smithers is a wife and mother of two. She is passionate about helping people enjoy and share their photos and stories. She is a Personal Photo Organizer and has been assisting others with their photos for over six years. Mikie is a member of the APPO Association of Personal Photo Organizers.