Faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases...
We have a garage that gets fuller each year with things we no longer want or need so it is time to reorganize and let go. Don't you just hate these type of decisions? You know its not fun, you get dust up your nose, you find bugs you don't want to see and you spend way more time than you need, trying to decide if you keep it or junk it and have it hauled off. Two years ago, I went thru stuff...it just never ends! I looked through photo boxes, one box was filled with old photo albums, while the other box was filled with hundreds of family photos that never made it into an album due to life getting in the way. Off the top of your head, how many photos do you have waiting for you? If you are like me, you have photos of your ancestors in a box, photos of your children in photo albums and now thousands of photos sitting in the cloud somewhere!
Have you noticed that it's hard to find photo albums in a store? I gave up using photo albums years ago as so many photos either stuck to the plastic covering in the album or the photos were so faded you bearly knew who was in the photo. Frankly, I just didn't have time to put photos in an album and I find I don't open those albums anymore.
Photos are a wonderful way to remember our past. I love looking at photos from my childhood...it is a wonderful window for my children and grandchildren to have a view of what I looked like when I was their age. I love seeing the photos of my great-grandparents and how they lived...these are precious memories that I don't want to be lost for the generations to come.
Technology can really help us streamline and let go of the photos we move from home to home over the years...it takes a little time, but you can create memories that will last. You may not be a DIY person...but you should consider creating a book of family photos....not a thousand photos...just the most precious that make the memories so special.
Seven years ago, I decided it was time to manage family memories that would also allow me to let go of so many photos. As mothers, we all have thousands of family photos sitting in the cloud...what are you doing with these photos? Remember technology is always changing and someday we probably won't be using the cloud!
When my grandson had his first birthday, I decided to create a book about his first year of life and I'm in the process of creating his seventh book as he turns eight next year. My daughter and I take photos during the year. She sends her favorites to me and I upload photos that I have taken to a website that stores the photos so that I can create a book. I write a story with the photos... I know you are thinking "I could never do that!" Today the tools available via our computer enable everyone to create any book with or without text...The tool I use online is Shutterfly.com! They offer terrific seasonal discount which make it less expensive.
I try to creatively capture the milestones, along with fun and funny memories that have occurred in the past year. This allows me to let go of the photos from the cloud and make room for more photos in the future. I find this to be such fun that I now create a book each year for my granddaughter. One day, this wonderful memory library of their lives growing up can be shared with their children. If creativity isn't your game just add photos by seasons or by months to "Keep It Simple" and give a gift of love to a child or grandchild.
The first book I made led me to the idea of how I might pass on the photos of my ancestors. I next decided to create a family cookbook with recipes that my children love. I created an ancestral pages going back as far as I had photos and then added family photos of my childhood as well as my children's childhood. Each child has a page of photos along with the recipes of my mother, mother-in-law and my own recipes. If they ever decide to get rid of their photos, they will always have a cookbook filled with their family history. I'll share a little more about this in my next blog... "How's She Cook That?"
Another way to keep memories alive is to create coffee table books about your Travel Adventures. Nothing is more fun than opening up a Coffee Table Book about a trip that you've have taken and relive the adventure and fun you experienced. Travel memories begin with the excursions you take and the new friends you make along the way. If you are like me it is hard to remember the names of those you meet when traveling, so I now write their name in my phone and make a note as to where we met. When I create my book, I write their names on the photo page which makes our memories more fun as we get older and recall our adventures over the years.
Shutterfly makes it fun and easy. You create an account and then choose a layout from a number of templates for your book design. You are guided step by step. I create an album of the photos I want to use on my compute as it makes it easier to upload them all at once. Start small on your first book and then venture out from there when you create your next one. It is fun and a great way to feel ok about letting go of the many photos sitting in boxes or in the cloud!