20 Nov Your 5 Biggest Fears About Your Photos – Debunked
I have never been into a home that did not have photos in it.
How many boxes of printed photos would you say are in your home? Your own or those that you have inherited.
How many photos have you been holding onto in boxes, packets and envelopes that are dark, overexposed, blurry or unclear (prior to digital technology, that allows you to check for closed eyes etc).
Now ask yourself how many of those might be duplicates? (we all went through the stage of ordering doubles or even triples because we were going to give the extra copies to family, friends etc but never got around to it).
How about the totally random ones of people who nobody knows anymore or perhaps never knew? Unidentifiable or argued about by any number of your eldest living relatives (you know the ones whose memories aren’t the best – no disrespect).
How about damaged ones? (you’ll see evidence of damp or dust damage if you’ve been storing photos in unsealed boxes in a garage or attic or worse if they have been affected by natural disaster).
Then there are all the pictures where NOT ONE person in the image is looking at the camera and of course the other pre digital ‘photo fails’ of the footpath the yesteryear equivalent to the kids let loose with the selfies in the back seat.
Yet so many of us are left with the insistent feeling that we simply must keep each and every photo that ever crossed our threshold or in one of my client’s cases all SIXTEEN of her thresholds before she knew for certain that she did not want to move her boxes of photos a seventeenth time.
So today we will MYTH BUST your 5 biggest fears for your photo collection.
- You’ll forget – I’ve recently been helping my mum downsize to move house. We had the daunting task of dealing with all of her photos. My childhood, grandchildren, holidays, history… guess what she said? Throw them away!! She hadn’t looked at many of them for years and all the important moments of her life she can still remember. Of course I know that you’re thinking, at some point she may not be able to remember. That’s why we went through all of the albums, to select a few from each of the most important, memorable and enjoyable times of her life. Those special ones we scanned and then created a beautiful photo book keepsake and the rest we put in one small album. You also need to give your other senses some more credit – sounds, smells and textures are great for triggering memories just as much and often even more so than photos.
- You’ll be arrested – there very well might be a group of head shaking so called “perfect parents” out there but I promise you that no one will call in the authorities because you choose to ditch the eleventy-billion passport size photos that come with the full size portraits in the school photo packs. Hanging onto an excess of similar photos of anyone will not prove that you are a good parent, wife, husband, friend etc.
- You’ll make enemies. You are afraid that “someone” will stop talking to you or disown you. If you think that someone else’s peace of mind is connected with what YOU hold on to, you are investing emotions better spent worrying about how to work the thermomix to blend the perfect pumpkin soup. A wise boss of mine once said that ‘someone’ did not work in our office – the same applies here. Remember according to most other people it’s not about YOU.
- You’ll have nothing to do. Chances that organising your photos has been on your “oneday/someday” list for a long long time and you have been criticizing yourself for not getting around to it for just as long. I would also bet that this is just another concern on a long list of things you want to achieve. If you have finally managed to put a big satisfying tick to this task I assure you that you will quickly find something else to take it’s place, like perfecting that soup.
- You’ll be lost without them. Photos, especially historical family photos can feel like part of the furniture. But imagine the relief you’ll feel when next time you move home, or if you downsize or even pass away when there are fewer cumbersome boxes for you or your descendants to cart around. Check out the new decluttering technique in town: “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” that is all about making your passing easier for those left behind. It is NEVER too soon to start on this as far as I am concerned.
We are not talking about trashing the whole lot but we are suggesting that Elsa had the right idea and you should ‘let it go’… stop worry about what might happen if you throw them away. Think of the worse case scenario and remind yourself that you very likely can live with that consequence. Remember there are always our scanning services so you can in many ways get the best of both worlds… a copy of the original print but the freedom from the physical item.
What are YOU afraid will happen if you throw away photos?