Getting Organized on a Snow Day

Updated: Jan 27, 2018

by Bonnie Kallenberg

A snow day for me meant a whole day at home to work on an organizing project that was long overdue: photos and mementos. Family photos, travel photos and souvenirs, ancestral photos, duplicate photos, cards, notes, articles and more; all in boxes with slight organization. All on a shelf looming over me to deal with so yesterday was perfect and I got started.

I went box by box:

1. Throwing out bad photos, duplicate photos, photos that didn’t matter. 2 garbage bags full by the end of the day and that was just the first pass.

2. Sorting out by Finders Keepers, family tree, family event, really old photos and travel photos and mementos.

3. Framing a couple of photos that I came across and loved.

4. Sorting out Finders Keepers photos, ads, newspaper clippings, and articles.

5. Tossing out duplicates in #4

6. Scrapbooking items from #4 for the company history. This was not done for beauty but simply for history’s sake to have anything that was written about Finders Keepers saved for easy reference. We have had a good share of articles written about us over the years!

7. Reading cards and remembering the people who wrote them. Cherishing the words and kindness. Some saved, some not. I was reminded of a lot of good times and good friends.

This took all day and what was in about 13 boxes is down to 9 and it’s much better organized and labeled. It’s not so overwhelming and now I can go box by box and do a second round:

1. Another purge, really, I don’t need a copy of every photo I’ve ever taken that was “good”. Let go!

2. Create a box for each child of photos they may want one day along with their scrapbooks I carefully crafted for each from birth to 18 over a decade ago. Many of the best photos are already in the scrapbooks so many photos can be tossed. Note t

o self: less is more, don’t overwhelm them with every cute photo of themselves. Make it worthy of the space in their homes. Remember, this generation doesn’t want a lot of any type of stuff….and all their photos are on their phones (another topic for another time)

3. Go through the FK box and sort out photos that employees may want and make them available. Toss what doesn’t get taken.

4. Make an album or 2 for some very special people in my life either with the actual photos or via digital scrapbooking service like Shutterfly.

5. Get the current Finders Keepers albums ready to be displayed at each shop during the month of February to celebrate 34 years in business (yes, since February 1984). Schedule the days the albums will be at each location.

6. Make a date with Jiffy Page of Pixorium to digitize some special items and photos so they will always be available. Jiffy is an annual speaker at Finders Keepers Furnishings and is an expert in this process. Her website is She will be speaking on a Saturday in February; more information will be on our website soon.

This process with photos and mementos is much harder than with clothing or stuff. I am more attached to these items and that’s why it will take me several purges…and it should. Look at each photo, news clipping, souvenir, card and hold it. Read the notes and cards. Remember and honor the giver. Keep what is

important and brings good memories. Toss anything that brings ne

gative energy or if you must, make a box for the bad for now. Then once it’s all there, consider burning it or tossing it. You really don’t want this in your life.

Photos and mementos are important to many of us so we tend to save too much or save everything. Give them the organization and recognition they deserve. It’s a perfect winter project!


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