Unclutter my life – sorting through the photographs

Sorting through the photographs is the task I have been putting off

I have boxes and boxes of photographs, some loose, some in carefully labelled albums, on top of the wardrobe. Gathering dust and giving no one any joy.

And now the decision has been made to sell the house and downsize, I know that I don’t want those boxes to move with us. To sit on top of another wardrobe, gathering dust.

Warren from Married with Luggage gave me some pointers as to how to tackle the mountain of photos about a year ago. Yes, I take my time over these things. I knew it would be emotional. It is my life in those albums. Fifty six years of my life captured on pieces of paper. School days, student life, married life.  And photos of people no longer in my life, for one reason or another. Some have happiness attached. Many don’t.

I also have some albums that I inherited from my grandmother and my mother. Some of those photographs will be almost a hundred years old. Keep or throw? Photographs of people I don’t know the names of. A baby that may or may not be my mother. And no one to ask now.

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Photos of Greece and a surprising discovery

The first photos I tackled were from 1987 and were taken in Naxos and Santorini. My mother and her sister in law went to Greece together for a number of years, 50 somethings island hopping and finding rooms to rent as they went along.

I thought I was going to find these particularly hard, but from three albums I have kept only four photos and this postcard.Santorini post card

This picture of a church is the one that got to me the most.

Santorini church

I am sure it is this church.

The one where I scattered my mother’s ashes. Her final resting place.

There are hundreds of churches on Santorini. Yes the colours are different. Yet I am sure this is the one. When I stood there in April 2014 I had an overwhelming feeling that this was the right place, where she would want to be. Who knew then that she had stood in this very same field to take a photo of this church? I didn’t. She led me there.

Wonderfully uplifting

It didn’t make me sad at all, indeed just the opposite, I felt uplifted. It actually gave me the energy to keep on with the task and just pull out the photos that really meant something and discard the others.

Many are duplicates, back in the day of film we often got three sets of photos, for the price of one. Pre digital we couldn’t delete the dreadful ones, yet kept them anyway. I even found some unused film.

And I had fun, scanning and sharing some photos with old school friends. Finding a photo of an old uni friend and her then boyfriend, now husband, who has just been celebrating a wedding anniversary. Sent it to her and she shared the memory. Other friends begged me not to share any more (I may have mortified an old school friend of my daughters). Yet no complaints when I posted some of me with some of the scary hairstyles I had and poor fashion choices.

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I found these two photographs, where I lived as a child. London in the sixties.

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A real walk down memory lane.

It was tough, yet I am glad I have started. Our new house, wherever it will be is a new start. We will have a life free of clutter. A life that will enable me and my husband to travel more. And that is the life we want. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my life coach, Lisa Cherry Beaumont.

2 thoughts on “Unclutter my life – sorting through the photographs

  1. What a wonderful post…I have recently done the photo album cull. So many photos of people whose names I had forgotten and relatives my kids will never know and they won’t have anyone to ask either. We have just downsized our house a little too and will downsize to a caravan in a couple of years time so we can travel full time so no room for boxes of old photos!

    1. Thanks Melissa. It is tough, but I feel lighter already. We are planning to get a camper van too – no room for clutter there. It is a great gift to your children to do the sorting so they won’t have to.

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