Your Memories Have a Voice Waiting to be Heard

One of the most common questions Life Your Way readers ask when we talk about decluttering and organizing is how to organize photos. So, 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 Lisa Kurtz:


source: I’m Fantastic


Your Memories Have a Voice Waiting to be Heard

I thought I would never forget the sound of my son’s sweet, raspy voice. As a toddler, he had nodules on his vocal chords and as a result, he had the most adorable, squeaky voice.

He’s 18 now, his voice has changed, the nodules are long gone and he sounds like any other young man. And while the memory of his raspy voice is certainly there, I realized that I had ‘forgotten’ what it sounded like until just recently.

Over Christmas our family spent many lazy days enjoying our Family Home Movie Marathon. It was my Christmas gift to them – we laughed, we cried and we remembered. My kids, now 18 and 22, showed no mercy for my big hair and glasses from the 80’s or my husband’s neon short-shorts.

Videos are Different Than Photos

I can tell you with certainty, there is no shortage of albums and photos in our lives. I have carefully organized and documented our life in photo albums and we enjoy them often. But there was something about watching our videos that gave those memories new life. It had been years since we pulled these out and I’m so glad we did.

But it wasn’t easy.

Last fall I was working with a client, in my work as a Personal Photo Organizer. He was recently widowed and had several mementos and photos of his late wife that he wanted to organize in albums for safe keeping.

One of the items was a video he had made for his wife’s funeral that he invited me to watch.  This man had very lovingly created a Video Album of his wife’s life by combining images, video and music. I was so moved, and more importantly inspired, to dust off our own home movies.

There was one small problem. I raised my kids in the late 80’s and 90’s, which meant all our video formats were now outdated. In a home filled with DVD players, computers, and Blue ray players I couldn’t access those memories easily. When did that happen?

And so Began my Christmas Project

For weeks, I gathered VCR tapes and VHSc tapes, miniDV’s and old 35 mm film reels. And my efforts extended to my in laws and their home movie collection from the 60’s.

And surprisingly, I wasn’t alone! Everyone I told had the same dilemma and they didn’t know where to start. Or they had never taken video and wished they had.  Can you access YOUR family videos or your parent’s home movies?

In the next part of this series I’ll be sharing some lessons learned along the way and some tips for getting your media converted. And I’ll also share some fun solutions for bringing your photos and videos to life!

How about you? Do you capture life on video, or do you have outdated media too?

Click here for all of the posts in this series.

Lisa is a wife, mom of adult kids, and has a passion for helping others celebrate life through their photos and videos. She is the co owner of Your Photo Organizers, a business dedicated to helping people discover simple solutions for their photos and memories.  She is also a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.