The Forgotten Sort

Crouched in dark corners, forgotten in attics and cupboards, are boxes bursting with eyes and parts of limbs.

These postcard sized pieces of paper aren’t actually hiding shameful secrets but their owners still feel guilty. How so? The contents are precious but they’re in a muddle and few people actually know what to do with them. I’m talking about that unwieldy stash of old photographs that everyone has.

Back of a photograph (taken from an album) handwritten date 1927


Despite the current trend of decluttering our homes, it feels like a crime to trash old photographs but I challenged myself to pare down my parents’ and my own stash and have learned so much along the way!

Stuck in overwhelm for a while – “the task is too large” and “what if I don’t do a good job” – I eventually realized that an imperfect job was better than nothing done at all. So I devised a system and kept to it (it took months and many interruptions). 

Now these old photographs are in photo-books and have a positive place in my home. There’s a selection of really old images accessible for the whole family to talk about and enjoy and I no longer feel guilty about clutter. A bonus was discovering some gems like this one taken in the early 70’s – my mum and friends looking at photographs together!



Looking at old photos with others is fun, informative and healing.

You get to build memories on memories.

Next post:   A sorting system – ‘Finding the Good Ones’ to keep

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