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The Older I Get, the Less I Want


As I was purging my closets and kitchen this past weekend, I had a lot of time to evaluate life and what’s to come. And the big thing I’ve come to realize that the more I live, the more I’ve moved, the less and less material possessions mean to me. Yet I’ve continued to move them around with us.

This was especially relevant when I began moving the boxes and boxes of pictures I have been toting around since I was in high school. Picture that…the little kids and I have moved over 12 times since my husband and I split up. I’ve moved these boxes each time. And I’m not sure I opened them even once.

Recording My Memories

Now don’t get me wrong, those memories are important to me. But I’ve decided to give myself a deadline this time AND NO MORE MOVES for these picture boxes!

As we were emptying the shelving units in the living room, History Buff began looking at the scrapbooks I have completed. And that’s when it hit me, my kids will not know what all these pictures are unless I tell them.

So my DEADLINE is January 2nd, 2020. I am going to sort through the pictures, only keeping the ones that are relevant. I will be putting them in a picture album with a notecard on the relevance of the pictures – who’s in it, what it/they meant to me, etc.

Not only will this leave a legacy for my kiddos someday, but it will also help me continue towards the true minimalist lifestyle I want to pursue.

Any pictures/boxes that I have not sorted by the deadline…they will get tossed. After so many years of being boxed up and moved around, will I really notice if they are gone?

What about you? Do you have items you have been toting around with you? Things you keep for sentimental value and nothing else? Do they something feel like an anchor?


  • Reply SMS |

    I applaud your desire to minimize, but I would be careful about throwing away irreplaceable photos you haven’t even looked at. My suggestion would be to drop the deadline and look through them as you have time. Label them. Then decide about throwing away, maybe together with the kids.

  • Reply jj |

    I agree that it is good to purge those boxes, but I definitely would not throw the unopened ones away – unless you are certain they’re just junk. You definitely might get rid of something you wanted. Why not commit to having 6 boxes purged by then instead? That is about 6 months away so a box per month kinda!

  • Reply Deeanna |

    Although I haven’t found the ideal option yet, I’d suggest going digital. Someone is bound to have a program that you can scan the pictures into that makes is a bit more friendly than a folder but less cumbersome than a digital scrapbrook.

    Having been through multiple hurricanes, a few friends losing their home to fires, and my own desktop crashing with daughter’s first year pictures (thank you blog), I’m on the hunt for a cloud based platform.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      I was going to suggest digitizing as well. It would seem that placing them on a flash drive would be a good backup should the desktop crash. You’d still have access to the pictures even if you did not have access to a computer since you can take a flash drive to places like Wal-Mart to view a picture and print it.

    • Reply Kiki |

      After my Mom passed away, I was in charge of her treasured family photos. What I did was take the photos to Costco and had them scanned to a disc. Then I uploaded them to Shutterfly under an account I created for all the family to see. I chose about 550 photos for this endeavor, and my 5 siblings all chipped in $ for the project.

      Costco has 2 price points for this. If you have a photo scanned in the store, it is one dollar each. That could add up. I only had very precious ones scanned at the store, such as my parents’ wedding photos. The others were mailed away to a photo copying service that Costco uses in Georgia, and all came back safely scanned. This service is only 20 cents a copy. My very capable Costco photo person said she has never lost a photo yet.

      I uploaded them to Shutterfly in four different albums in the account and shared the password with everyone. My family loved this! I divided up all the originals for my siblings, and anything else we want can be printed from Shutterfly.

  • Reply Kiki |

    Organizing my photos is my big project this summer. I had stacks of photos albums and hundreds and hundreds of photos. My objective in doing so was to create archive boxes for my four grown children, which take up much less space. So the underlying criteria is “Do my children want this photo?’

    First, I emptied all the albums and sorted them by category–each child, photos of grandparents, family photos, vintage etc. I dumped a LOT of photos but nothing that was treasured or truly personal. For example, I taught overseas on 4 occasions, and we really don’t need the photos of all those foreign students, unless I was in the photo. Do my kids want that photo of a high school friend I have not seen in years? No. The many photos that my siblings gave me over the years of nieces and nephews were returned to them to give to their children.

    Each child will receive photos pertaining to them and an assortment of the shared family photos. They each will have 2 archive boxes (about shoe box size) and a hard folder of 8 x 10s and 5 x 7s I am also making some copies at Costco’s of ones I feel they all should have. Consider something like this, Hope. These boxes (bought at Michaels) hold a lot of photos. I’m so glad I am doing this because it really is a project that nobody wants to do!

  • Reply Kiki |

    PS I also labeled each photo, which I had not done over time. That took a lot of time but good for posterity!

  • Reply Sarah |

    We spent money to have lots of negatives scanned in. I also scanned in scrapbook pages. It cost a lot but I’ve decided no one wants my scrapbooks but they might want them digitally.

    I have things from practically my whole life. I have banners that we used to put on our friends lockers for their birthdays and people would come by and write on them. I guess that was our Facebook. I still have those and hate to part with them but think I’ll tackle that this summer.

  • Reply Constance Farris |

    I think your plan is great! I have boxes of old photos from my grandmother and great aunt, my mom and dad plus mine. I can’t identify most of the people in the prior generation’s pictures.

    My friend’s mom took her old, old photos and blew up the best ones to 8×10 (on a copier). She put each one in a plastic sleeve in a binder. Opposite each photo she wrote a narrative about the people and things in the photo. “This is my Grandpa Joe behind the wheel of his 1929 Packard. The car was green with tan leather interior and was Grandpa Joe’s pride and joy. We went on many a road trip in that car . . . ” Each narrative was one page, double spaced but it made all the people, places and things come to life. I only wish I had asked my mom more questions and written down her answers while I still had the opportunity.

    With the digital capabilities we have now, you could use the same approach but put it on line in the cloud.

    • Reply Sarah |

      I love what your friend’s mom did. What a great idea. My mom is 83 and we need to spend more time together so maybe she and I can work on a project. Thanks for sharing.

So, what do you think ?