Preserving the Past while Decluttering

As my pursuit of the “Simple Life” continues I keep finding more and more opportunities to reduce the amount of “Stuff” which has accumulated throughout the years. This winter I have dedicated my time to scanning and saving all of my wife’s photographs. As we both divorced years ago there are plenty of photographs saved from those previous lives we both have lived before we met. As I have already minimized my photo collection, Sharon too has made the decision to empty boxes of pictures from her past. She is finding great joy now in viewing those photos online.

I purchased a good photo scanner and started scanning pictures which she has determined to be worth scanning. The photos are being saved in multiple locations along with Google Photos. With Google Photos she can create albums to share with other family members.

Ultimately those memories are not only being preserved for generations to come but also being removed from a cluttered closet. Sharon literally has thousands of photo’s and many have been taken with the old style 35 mm camera and the quality no be so good. With todays technology I am finding it increasingly easy to make some pretty good improvements on those old photos. Of course there is certainly no way I could go through each photo and perform the photoshop magic to them. A task like that would take years to perform. So I decided that once all the photos are scanned and saved I will copy them to multiple photo cards to pass on to each family member as they can pick and choose those photos that mean the most to them and work their own magic on each one.

I love contemplating the thought of my family many generations before me having the same technology to preserve their past. But knowing that this wasn’t possible I also love contemplating the thoughts of my children’s children and far beyond viewing all the photos that I am now scanning.

Who knows? Some day I may be able to turn this whole process into a small business in retirement as I see Sharon and myself traveling the country in a motorhome.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
This entry was posted in adventures, aging, art, family, frugal, growing up, life, marriage, minimalist, photography, simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Preserving the Past while Decluttering

  1. luddy2 says:

    We have started to do the same. Sold our extensive vinyl collection last year. Photos being uploaded and ‘sentimental crap’ charity shopped. All in the attempt to tour…

    • When we moved across the country from New Jersey to Oregon we though we got rid of most of our stuff. Between selling on Craigslist, yard sales and donations we reduced everything to the point where there was only about a 1/4 of it left. Now since we have settled here (4 years ago) we still continue to find more stuff to get rid of or preserve in photos. Even all that important paperwork is being scanned and saved. It just amazes me how easy it is to collect things throughout the years that we once thought were important only to find out that their really is little true value in it. We tried to give things away to the kids and thought it might be important to them, but they didn’t want it either. The next time we make a move we will have everything down to a real minimum.

  2. Ren Powell says:

    I have “lost” things I intended to save electronically. A computer crash (yes, I know I should have had a back-up), and there were things on “floppy” that I could no longer access without spending a lot of money to do so. I have just learned to let go of most things. When I got a divorce a few years ago I moved from the family house to a 55 square meter apartment. It was liberating. Now back in a new house, with a new husband, I feel the “stuff” creeping up around my throat again. I don’t want to leave a pile of trash for my kids to sort through when I’m gone. I don’t want my emotional dilemma regarding throwing away old Christmas gifts to become their emotional baggage. I want them to think: wow, Mom knew what was important to her. I expect family photos then are important.

    • I too have lost a lot of memories captures through photographs. We lost so much in that house fire when I was 17. My curiosity about the generations before me pushes me towards trying to capture as much of life as possible so those things can be accessed by generations ahead of me. My great grandfather died when I was young and I always wondered about what his life was like as a young man. Hopefully I am coming close to portraying my own life through words and pictures for the future.

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