Indispensable tool in sorting through your photos: The trash can

An acquaintance on Facebook ruminated this week, “I am trying to figure out the ‘let go vs. keep’ of stuff in my life. … Here’s the struggle: It’s not just one book or one piece of memorabilia, it’s the accumulation! I understand the ‘pick your favorites’ BUT each individual piece or book has it’s own significance or place. It is difficult to be objective.”

If you, like my colleague, is among the people who resolved to finally do something with all your photos and memorabilia in 2014, the first act I recommend is to sort. And during your sort, make liberal use of the garbage can.

Hard to think about throwing away photos and papers that feel important to you or, at least, felt important to you once? Here are two resources for you:

  1. “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston: Part of her message is about how getting rid of stuff actually makes room in your life for good stuff to come into it. So for example, with books: If you get rid of some of your books, you’ll discover friends giving you books, books at the library, more books to buy — all kinds of good things come your way because you had the courage to let go of things that have already served their purpose. I would add this: Don’t feel like you have to get rid of all of anything. I have hundreds of books. But I gave away about 150 in the past year. The same can be said about pictures and memorabilia — maybe it has served a good purpose for you in the past, but getting rid of some of them might make room for new experiences and memories.
  2. And this blog post, written two years ago:

You CAN do it: Organizing your photo collection requires liberal use of the trash can

Ready, set, GO!

It’s GO month, as dubbed by the National Association of Professional Organizers. GO means Get Organized, and a lot of New Year’s Resolutions revolve around cleaning up, scaling back and streamlining every bit of clutter from clothes to collections and housework to paperwork.

A part of any organization effort certainly must include a trash can. As we sort through our stuff, we inevitably find junk we can’t believe we’re still storing or otherwise holding onto (unless you’re a hoarder who mourns every bit they’ve ever thrown away instead of the garbage they’ve still got).

Even if you’re not a hoarder, getting rid of emotionally charged belongings can be difficult.

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