Avoid Getting Sidetracked by Enlisting a Helper
There’s just some things that are really better off attacking with another person. Often we can get distracted, swept up in memories, and admire every piece of nostalgia we come across. Memorabilia, keepsakes, nostalgia, mementos- call it what you like… this is the stuff that bogs us down, stirs up our emotions and yet sometimes puts the biggest smile on our face. Although mementos can be enjoyable and interesting, if time is of the essence, this can drastically slow down the process. Having an unbiased organizing partner helping you wade through these projects will speed up the process and keep you on track. Here’s how to approach the organizing process together.
Photos: Stay focused by zeroing in on the time frame or life event to organize photos chronologically. Delete or pitch duplicates and blurry photos. If printed photos are piling up or getting ruined being stored loosely in boxes, get them into albums. Don’t over think the process, just start filing photos in albums by time periods. At least you and loved ones can start to enjoy looking at the albums. If your pictures are digital, again create folders labeled by time or event.
Kid’s artwork: Here’s my criteria for deciding what to keep of kid’s drawings. If they’ve colored in a preprinted turkey at Thanksgiving, let it go. If they drew their own turkey or made a turkey keep it. If they wrote a story at school about dogs and cats, let it go. If they wrote a story about their family explaining what their family means to them, keep it. If they went through a Pokemon fad and drew every figure over and over, just keep one, not all the same looking drawings. So you get the idea. Keep the extra special and extraordinary. You’d be surprised how much a second set of eyes can help with these decisions. If someone else sees the uniqueness and cuteness it’s worth keeping.
Items from deceased family members: After a loved one passes, it is very difficult to go through their items. I’ve helped families go through items close after a passing and have also helped individuals that have waited years until they are ready to go through the items. Whatever time you decide to tackle it, is the right time. I’d never suggest doing it alone. And sometimes involving other family members make it worse. You can quickly get guilt tripped in to keeping everything because another family member thinks you should. Going through a loved ones personal items is also very emotional, so enlisting the help from someone who can think clearly, help give you sound options, and encourage you to make smart decisions is vital.
High school & college memorabilia: These years are the most fun to look at and will give you a good laugh. They also show our immaturity at that age. Back then we thought everything was important so sometimes we kept everything. Now looking back, hopefully you’ll have a more realistic angle and view point. Keep items or keepsakes from big milestones and big events during those years. For example, a silly letter from a friend you haven’t seen in twenty years could be toss, but a letter from you dad on graduation day telling you he’s so proud of you would be kept. Look at the gravity and sincerity at these items and make your decisions based on those to values.