Saturday, March 11, 2017

Minimizing Memories

My hands are covered with dust and my brain is muddled after spending a few hours in the basement clearing off bookshelves.
I have so many photo albums filled, mostly, with pictures of my children throughout their growing up years. Once Grace hit 12 or so, we switched to digital photos, scattered throughout the landscape of my computer, but easy to carry with me to France.
As I'm easily shifting books into giveaway bags, I wonder what to do with the photo albums. Do I take all the pictures out and save them in boxes?
Do I send the photos to a digital site and ask them to put them all on flash drives so I can carry them with me in my computer? I know that it's about $250 for 250 photos from Legacybox. I probably have thousands of pictures. Which do I discard and which do I keep?
And although I can easily get rid of books, knowing I won't move them to France with me, I can't get rid of my husband's books, so the shelves still hold things like Leroy Nieman paintings and the History of Baseball, not to mention some ancient books that don't even have covers any more. I wonder how we'll ever sort through everything.
I came across a Student Survival Guide to Wilmington College. That's where I went the last two years of my college. Why do I still have this? I've moved it from Ohio to Washington D.C. to Florida to Michigan and back to Ohio for more than 30 years.
That's my brother with his back toward the camera. 
My brother is on the cover but you only see him from the back. Is that why I saved it? I asked if he wanted it and he said yes!

Then I found this newspaper clipping.

My best friend got married 32 years ago right after she graduated from college, and I was the maid of honor. I held onto the clipping. Then I was the maid of honor again at her second wedding. She finally didn't invite me to the third wedding and this one has worked out. I don't think I need to hold onto the newspaper clipping any more.
Some things are easy to discard. But what do I do with all those photo albums?
If I was moving from the UK, I could load them all into my car or a moving van, but I can only take things on a plane.
Any advice? What would you do?


Anonymous said...

Will they fit into a couple of boxes? If so, can you leave them at your brother's house? Your kids might want them...there is something so much nicer about leaving through a photo album vs. looking at a computer screen.
I wouldn't get rid of photos.
But you have motivated me to look through my clippings and clear things out. I did this recently when my parents died and I had to go through their stuff. There's so much inertia. We save stuff and never go back to decide whether it's still worth saving.

Paulita said...

If I take all the pictures out of the photo albums they might fit into a few boxes. They aren't the "special" albums, like the ones of our wedding or the kids baby albums, so I guess I should start culling and organizing.
Francetaste, What did you do when you moved to France? Did you take everything with you?

our life in france said...

Oooh thats a hard one, I know I took all mine with me but I could load them into a removal van and ferry them across from UK, I think as Francetaste says leave them with a relative and get the really special ones put onto your computer that way the originals are there for future generations, write on the back of them also, I have some from my Mums younger years and I have no idea who they are but it would be nice to know

Jackie McGuinness said...

Before I even knew we would downsize I had taken on a project to scan the boxes of photos we had. When we started downsizing I scanned as much as possible, like your newspaper clip.
I took all the photos out of the albums, scanned them and threw the albums out. Even *gasp* the wedding albums the step kids had given us of their weddings!

Paulita said...

Roz and Jackie, Thanks for the advice. I have started removing them from the albums today. If they're all digital, I suppose the kids wouldn't be able to get to them anyway.

Sim Carter said...

Ooof, what an emotional decision to make! I agree with francetaste to leave them with a relative but AFTER you've taken a couple of days to go through the books and save the creme de la creme to your computer or to winnow down into a couple of books you can browse through over coffee when you're feeling far away in France! Good luck with that!

Paulita said...

Sim, Thanks. Sorry my Dreaming of France post was late getting up. Too many children still having too many crises! said...

I'd save the photos making sure they are labeled - names, places, dates...if possible. Everything else...donate. A lighter load is always freeing and leaves your open for new experiences to build on. :)

Jeanie said...

Do you have a scanner and a boatload of time? That would help. But I don't envy you the task of going through all your things and making those choices. I'm trying to scan a lot of things just to preserve them and in the course of it finding loads of photos to toss -- that "perfect sunset" isn't nearly so good as the sunsets today with its faded coloring, bad paper and poor camera!

But it's the family pics that are hardest. You can probably cherry pick the books for the best, but how do you decide? Scanning and cloud or a program like shutterfly are good but the old ones are still on paper. Can you divide them up to people who might appreciate them and pass along? (I'm trying that too -- then if they want to toss -- it's their problem!)

Paulita said...

Doodletlc, I can't imagine getting through all the photos, much less labeling them all!
Jeanie, Yeah a scanner can help, but then I imagine, someday when I die, all those pictures are just stuck in the cloud and no one looks at them.

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