I just got back from visiting my family in Connecticut. My whole family got together to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary! It was deeply nourishing to be together, finally, after such a long time apart. I got to see my parents, brothers, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, my aunt, uncles and cousins.
And it rained like crazy which was amazing coming from California where it’s bone dry. I was wishing I could bring the rain home with me!
I’m always struck by the fresh perspective I have on my living space after I return from a trip.
Something always stands out that isn’t working well and I have new ideas about how to adjust things. Sometimes it’s simply the realization that it’s time to declutter! If you’re traveling this summer, take advantage of that fresh perspective when you get home and take some time to refresh your space
The benefit of refreshing your home when you return from a trip is that making a shift in the space will support the new you that you’ve become while you were away. Personal growth is usually accelerated while on a journey and it’s a great opportunity to change your space to reflect and support those inner shifts. Our home is a mirror of our life and Feng Shui is a way to work with that mirror to support our life.
The wedding anniversary sparked a lot of conversation about our family history.
My mom is Irish and my dad is Columbian, what a great combo! I learned a lot of things about my ancestors that I didn’t know or had forgotten because I had only heard them once before. It was also good to hear things again from different perspectives.
We looked at some photos that I hadn’t seen before that had belonged to my grandmother on my moms side. It was really fun to see the resemblances to the next generation, my young nieces and nephews. I’ve included a few favorites. Starting at the top: my mom and I, my grandpa Gerry and I, and me with my brother Jamie, cousin Nelle and my grandmother June, also known as Gom.
Going through old photos got me thinking about photo decluttering and how this may be a thing of the past for many as we’ve phased out of printing photos and keeping things digital. But many people still have tons of old printed photos. It’s easy for them to get disorganized and they can be hard to go through. The box my mom broke out was the way she found it when my Grandma passed away. It was a mix of photos of people no one remembered from over 50 years ago with some of our family favorites. It was musty and had many empty envelopes that the photos originally came in.
The purpose of decluttering your photos is so you can enjoy them! Unfortunately many people’s photo collections get so overwhelming that they never look at them. As time passes, it only gets more difficult for the next generation to sort through.
Tips for decluttering your photos
1) If you have other decluttering to do, do that first. It will be much easier to get clear about how you feel about your photos if you’ve already had some recent experience letting go of some things. Decluttering photos can be emotional and it’s best not to dive in if your space is already in chaos. I always recommend doing any ‘sentimental decluttering’ last.
2) Sort your photos into categories before your decide which to keep and which to let go of. Your categories could be by year or by specific events, or whatever feels the most intuitive for you.
3) Don’t feel obligated to keep photos of every person, every event, every year, every memory or even any photos of all. Your memories live in your heart. Keep the photos you love. Too many photos is overwhelming and gets in the way of being able to enjoy them.
4) When it’s time to let go of the photos you’ve decided not to keep, spend some time honoring the past with gratitude, honoring your memories and hold them in your heart.
5) Decide how you want to keep your photos. Do you like the idea of having albums? Is it easier for you to have them organized in boxes? Or would you prefer to keep them digitally? Would you like to frame some of your favorites?