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Downsizing – It’s not just about getting rid of things,

finding new ways to enjoy sentimental treasures.  

Kids' Paintings


It can be a very emotional experience when faced with giving up things that are near and dear to you.   These things may include items from the things you did, the people you met and the places you visited.  They often also include memories from raising children, and those items passed down to you as the family keepsake and heirloom keeper.


While this collection of things and the memories associated with them is an important part of your life, it can be a lot!  Whether on your shelves, or in boxes, we all seem to hold on to everything, afraid of family history getting lost and not passed down to the next generations. 


Luckily, there are many ideas and services to help you find ways to condense these treasures into meaningful items "rightsized" for you and your family.  Whether you want to take on the project yourself or hire a service, here are some tips to get you started.

Vintage Film
Life Photographs

Step 1: Decide Your Goal

  • What do you want to end up with? 

  • What can be condensed and what needs to be kept?  

  • How big is this project, gather all the items in one place.

  • Do I need help from a digitizing service or outside help?

Step 2: Understand how to condense, let go, and create somegthing new

  • ask is it the item or the guilt? why can't you let it go?

  • disassociating the item from the memory of person that gave it to you

  • let go of other peoples expectations of what you should do with the item

  • keep the best, get rid of the rest

  • convert it to something digital

  • watch: Letting Go -

Step 3: Decide on how to create new keepsakes

Here are a few space-saving strategies to preserve your prized possessions … and your memories:

  •  take photos of the individual items and compile them into a scrapbook. Or choose a few special items and photographs and arrange them together in a shadowbox. Your parent can then proudly display their favorite memories in their new assisted living apartment – without taking up too much space.


  • Capture digitally. Bet you have boxes and boxes of old family snapshots, love letters and cards, awards, magazine covers, and other pieces of paper you just can’t bear to get rid of. Whittle those decades of accumulation down to a manageable pile and scan or take digital photos of these items to preserve for posterity.  See below for more information on digitizing.

  • Cozy up. Do you have a group of souvenir t-shirts? Have them sewn into a cozy quilt which, while keeping you warm, will also remind you of your most memorable trips or experiences.

  • Curate your collection. When space is at a premium, those collections of antique fishing lures or Matchbox cars may not make the cut. Why not choose a few of your favorites and showcase them in a shadowbox frame instead.

  • Conduct a tour. Before you pack up to move, preserve the love you feel for your home – and the memories you made there – with a priceless video tour. While you walk around your home, show where you and the kids rolled out the Christmas cookies each year, point out the corner of the garage where your husband did his woodworking, and don’t forget to include a shot of the tree in the front yard that’s always the first in the neighborhood to turn vivid yellow every fall. Be sure to also call attention to those special items that you can’t take with you, like your grandma’s armoire or your 100-piece Christmas village, and recount their stories for future generations. After you’re in your new home, this video will provide a comforting trip down memory lane when you need it.

  • Hire a painter to for a stunning still life that combines all their prized possessions, which seniors could take and enjoy wherever they go.

While you’re preserving your treasures to carry with you to your new home, you’ll also be creating a treasure of a different sort for your kids and grandkids!

Time to let it go and


  • Gifts received from loved ones

  • Children’s art/school work

  • Travel mementos

  • Inherited family heirlooms

  • Trophy’s/Medals


Our children may not want all the stuff. They want the story. What better way to tell your story than with pictures and scrap books. It gives you a visual of your life and takes you right back to the time those items were being used. Once you take a picture, you can create a photo book or folder on your computer and include your written or recorded story along with the photo.


​Follow those steps to make the most of your memories with photos.

  1. Sort through your items and place them in categories. By placing the items into categories, you will get a better idea of the photo book/folder you would like to create.

  2. Let go of any items that don’t bring you happy memories.

  3. Take a picture of the items.

  4. Tell your story. You can hand write, type, or record your story and memories of the item.  

  5. Organize your story for each photo in a binder or on your computer.

  6. Make a photo book, scrap book, or store the pictures on your computer and enjoy your memories!

  7. Now you have a beautiful way to tell your story and share your memories without all the clutter. You are more likely to reach for this photo book and then go through all your belongings in your basement. 

tell your story.

Digitize photos, videos, slides, negatives, letters, and more


Technology makes it easier than ever to preserve memories and reduce excess clutter. For example, photos, diplomas, journals, letters, cards, and other paperwork can be scanned into a digital format and uploaded to external hard drives or cloud storage. Home videos on VHS tapes or film can also be converted into digital formats for easier storage. Creating a digital archive will ensure memories are protected from aging and damage while eliminating the need for bulky file cabinets or storage bins.

The very first step to organizing your pictures is to figure out what your end goal is. Is it to preserve them for future generations? Is it to create a celebratory slideshow for your daughter’s graduation? Do you just want to be able to find those cute pictures of the kids to share on Throwback Thursday? Whatever your final goal may be, give some thought to it now. It will help you prioritize your actions as you work through the organizing process.


Tips to get your photos in order:


Digitizing Service :

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