Advice For Decluttering Photos and Sentimental Stuff - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 12-15-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to seriously cull down what we have in purely sentimental stuff. There is not really too much compared to a lot of people, one plastic storage box of sentimental papers, journals etc. And about 6 large photo albums from pre-kids (all the photos after kids are digitial....thats a whole nother drama...). Im looking for advice for those who have gotten rid of a lot of the sentimental stuff in one swoop. A lot of it doesnt matter that much to me looking at it now, but I wonder which things I will really want to look back on later down the line. And I know that my memories of things will fade unless I have these things, photos from childhood trips, school friends etc. So how do you decide what is really worth keeping and what is not? 


For what it is worth we are moving towards serious minimalism, so I want to keep as little as possible, while still keeping things I may treasure down the line. BTDT advice would be wonderful.... :D

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#2 of 9 Old 12-15-2010, 10:54 PM
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am supposed to get going on exactly that this morning ... should have a few hours free alone.

have meant to do it for ages, was forever putting it back, now is the time .. and am wondering exactly the same as you ask yourself ....

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#3 of 9 Old 12-16-2010, 10:11 PM
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 I started an at-home de-cluttering program and I have not yet got to sentimental stuff. I am an avid scrapbooker so the thought of getting rid of my albums has never even crossed my mind. The goal for me is finding a way to eliminate so much other "stuff" and "junk" that I can showcase the things I really love - like my albums. I try not to make a lot of froo-froo things or mini albums ... just uniform 12x12 albums for the shelf. 


There are some things I know will have to go - like old movie ticket stubs.


But then again, I have been journal writing since I was in elementary school and not once have I ever gotten rid of a journal. At times, I think it's silly to keep such silly things especially with all the nonsense I'd write in high school but then again it is the history of myself. And to throw all of that away - seems like something I could never do. Maybe when I'm elderly I'll have a journal burning party. Who knows. But for now, I'm not ready to let go.

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#4 of 9 Old 12-16-2010, 10:26 PM
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I need to do this too. I've kept journals since high school and even though most of what I wrote was nonsense- it really shows how much I've changed. I don't think I could get rid of those. Now, the letters from my pen pal, the notes friends and I wrote in boring classes or every single card I've gotten on my birthday/ Christmas/ Valentines/ etc. may need to be recycled. I just need to DO IT and stop ignoring the several boxes in the storage room.


Good luck to you. Maybe when you've finished, you can give the rest of us tips on doing it! :)

E, wife to D, mommy to G (born March 2010). joy.gif

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#5 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah the journals are the one thing I KNOW I will not throw away. I have considered typing them out into digital form though. But then I am not tech savvy and am useless as backing up digital stuff so I dont know if its a wise plan. But then again we could just as easily have a fire or flood, as lose our hard drive :). I got started a little on the photos, but I think I need to wait til the kids are asleep so I can really focus on it properly.

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#6 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 09:14 AM
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I've been scanning stuff and depending on if it child hood or later stuff clumping it by timeframe (gradeschool, high school, etc) or by theme ( trips, Halloween) and then printing books from them. I have a Mac so iPhoto has great book printing options and they are thin and uniform and the file for them gets saved in case they ever get ruined.

It turns a shoe box into a 1/4 inch book that is wonderful to look at and includes notes and stories and even those ticket stubs. I've even scanned the front of old t shirts from concerts and such and used the picture as the inside cover for the book!

I'm about to start using it to save old photo albums, so instead of a 2-3 in binder with stuff slipping out, I will have a <1/2 book that won't fade and I can print a second set for siblings if they want one, or multiples for my kids some day.

partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

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#7 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 09:23 AM
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I pass it onto my sister since she doesn't have issues with being organized and she doesn't mind clutter... LOL =)

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#8 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 11:32 AM
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I have saved almost every scrap of preschool and kindergarten papers/projects (it's a Montessori school, so it's not a lot), but I am going to take it all to Kinko's and have it bound into a spiral notebook to put away. Right now I just have everything stashed in a plastic rubbermaid container. Will my kids ever really care when they are older? Probably not, but they want to look through it all now, so I love watching them get that good feeling about looking over their past work and see how much they have progressed! I want them to know that I take their "work" seriously and am proud enough to keep it for them.  They can trash it when they are older if they want. ;)


As for our digital photos, I back everything up to an external drive and am starting to make Blurb books with the best photos.  Just made a 2010 year in review as a Xmas present for DW.  Now just gotta go back 6 years and do those! LOL!  That way it's in a small book that will fit easily on a shelf (instead of a photo album and printing out 1,000 photos!)

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
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#9 of 9 Old 12-17-2010, 12:13 PM
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We keep a scrapbook for each of them, and this holds all those photos that we only received the physical copy of, as well as report cards, mementos, etc....its a 12X12 book and one book should easily last 10 years for them, which gives you a better idea of how selective we are with those.  We also have a box where each child's "year" of school work goes into large plastic storage bags which are sealed and marked by school year.  Note that only items that were unique and only done by them are kept (if its obvious that there was adult involvement, to the trash they go).  As for all of our photos and videos, we keep that on imovie and iphoto, and we stream it regular to our tv via appletv.  we dont have any DVDs/CDs around, as all of thats digital now and the originals are boxed up and away....its all streaming :)

DD5, DS3...Montessori since 8/2010
Bradenton, Florida
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