No net gain?

” No net gain” was a philosophy first introduced to me by my cousin who lives in Montana.  His house is a 1900s farmhouse where he resides with his wife and four children. Their house has no closets.  The philosophy is simple, and goes like this, “If you bring something into the house, you have to take something out.”  Recently, this philosophy has a lot of appeal to me. 

We live in a small house with two pre-school children who seems to accumulate “stuff”.  I do not buy it, it just appears in our house.  Over the past few weeks, I have also been helping a family member clean out a rather overloaded garage.  In addition, I have watched a good friend struggle as she and her husband help her in-laws “downsize”. 

 It’s been my experience, when you have too much, the important, sentimental items get damaged or lost in the midst of all the “stuff”. I am pretty good at getting rid of old clothes, books, and baby things.  There is always someone who can use those things, and I see the merit in that.  However, right now, I am having a hard thing figuring out what to do with old snapshots, letters, and other sentimental items.  With both my parents deceased, and the recent death of my mother-in-law, I  want to ensure the girls can look back at old family photos, family tree, and letters.  I also want to preserve happy childhood memories for my girls.

What do you do with all of the photos to ensure your children can look back and enjoy happy memories?    What do you do with really old photos?   Do you scrapbook?  Do you scan everything and stick in on a disc? How do you organize the photos by person, or by year?  I am looking at a mountain of photos, digital and otherwise, and trying to determine how to tackle them.  I need some help!


About Mary @ a simple twist of faith

I am: a rookie at blogging, just started my blog in May 2010 when I became a full-time Mom. a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, a listener of the Holy Spirit, and a Catholic. Pro-Life, , Pro-Woman and an adoption advocate wife to a wonderful husband for 12 years proud and grateful mother to two beautiful daughters ages 5 and 3. a coffee drinking fool, so I can keep up with my little girls a home schooling novice using my kindergartener as a guinea pig a runner, it keeps me sane and in my size 8 pants an avid reader , now of Beatrix Potter's books a former workaholic & fashion follower a lover of chocolate, and wine, and the finer things in life, although I cannot afford them anymore!
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9 Responses to No net gain?

  1. Kyooty says:

    We are drowning in stuff!! but hubbie lastnight set 3 boys to work on cleaning their playroom, anything left was removed. Pictures? I’ve got 3 photo albums and a box of photos from our early years. I have been taking photos from my parents house to mine for my kids and still it’s “stuff” I need more photo albums because I really enjoy looking at photo albums.

  2. Kristy Rotolo says:

    How about scrapbooking? You can do it on the cheap and your treasured memories will be saved. You just keep the best of the best that tells the story you want it to tell. I’m totally addicted to scrapbooking. I however, do not do it on the cheap, but it’s cheaper than therapy! There is digital scrapbooking too. I bought a thing from Creative Memories but have never used it. Give me a call if you’re interested in scrapbooking. I crop once a month at London Bridge Baptist Church with their scrapbook ministry. 498-8034.

  3. Tish says:

    I cleaned out my parents house last year after my father moved into a nursing home. They had lived there since 1960 and had tons of stuff. Now our garage and attic have tons of stuff until I can go through all of it properly and dispose of the un-needed. At one point I came across two boxes that obviously contained things that my mother had cleared out from her parents’ house–I ran across a hand lettered deed of trust for the family farm dated to the late 1700s and a letter to my great grandfather from Andrew Jackson! Family papers that might have historic value, like the letters from my uncle, who was a prisoner of war in WWII go to an appropriate historic library (West Point). My parents kept all the letters they wrote to each other over the years, and those to and from my grandparents. There’s a lot of family history there. I can’t let them go, but don’t want to store them forever.
    Both sets of grandparents (born in late 1800s) and my parents took tons of pictures. I can’t and don’t want to put them in albums. I bought a good, fast scanner and have been scanning the pictures (the cream of the crop, not every last shot) to my computer. This is the only fair way to share them among my several siblings. When I find an especially cute one, I slap it on FB or send it in an email. They know they will get a set of the best family pix at Christmas.
    Good luck.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I would put some of them in books for the girls and then put the really old ones in photo boxes. I have seen some cool ones that are like tiny little file boxes. You can label them by year or by person, etc… I need to do the same thing myself. Have fun with it. What ever you do, do not throw them away!

  5. Thank Stephanie, great advice! I think the main thing is not to get overwhelmed, but at the same time, do not ignore the photos and get it in an organized, manageable system so I can tackle a little bit at a time.

  6. Pingback: Why I Love Boxing Day | A Simple Twist of Faith

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