Thursday, July 13, 2017

Minimizing - My childhood edition :)

I've continued my process of de-cluttering and minimizing our house and life.  Although I accomplished a lot this winter I'm still trying to get into the daily habit of giving away, throwing away and buying less.

My project had a fun/challenging twist when I visited my mom this month and looked closer at the boxes of my childhood treasures/collections in her garage.  I enjoyed the process of minimizing; I had saved the craziest things!  I'm talking VHS tapes of my dance recitals/graduation, printouts (???) of emails from college (on matrix dot paper), and even my baby teeth.  Yes.  My teeth.  I have NO idea what I was saving them for?

Most of my papers, notes, greeting cards, letters and scrapbooks went into the recycling bin.  I ended up filling my mom's container!

College text books, novels, tourist souvenir books from Europe (did anyone else buy those on trips in the 90's?) and children's books were given away.

My remaining costumes, school dance dresses, ballet costumes and vintage clothing (hats, gloves) went on Etsy, for the girls to wear or given away.  My oldest daughter wore my 9th grade lavender dyed kitten heels whenever possible that week!

A couple VHS tapes went into the trash (taped Oprah shows???) and the rest to Costco to be turned into DVDs.  Fortunately I was able to preview the tapes ahead since my mom *still* has a VHS player. Ha!

Last but not least were a few random things shown below.  My "butt pillow", Annie lunch box and my music box bear.

I wanted to toss my "butt pillow" but my children demanded that we keep it.  This little beauty was made for me by my sister out of an old pair of jeans.  It has friendship bracelets tied on top (*love*), and names of friends and favorite song lyrics written on it in black pen (classy).  The back has decorations including some 80s studs!

I digress. So although I would have liked to de-clutter that sucker into the trash it is now in my daughter's playroom and they love it. 

The lunchbox was given away after I took photos of each side. And the teddy is still at my moms since it belonged to my older sister too.  The wind up mechanism still works!

I had been feeling pretty good about my progress, getting rid of a few boxes and minimizing down to just a couple boxes (hello yearbooks from pre-school to college!).   

Then mom brought me 4 folders full of my childhood drawings, letters, report cards, assessments, student of the month photos and class assignments that she had filed away for me all these years.  Sigh.  

Most of these gems were from my early childhood and I hadn't seen them in decades (or ever).  I enjoyed looking at them at first but became overwhelmed by the amount and felt bad about simply tossing them all.

So I decided make a photo book similar to the ones I create for my own kids.  Of course this book would need to be MUCH bigger since it was so many years worth of memories.

I spent a couple hours photographing the many many papers in those files.  Some to use in a book and others to just have a record of (letters of acceptance to college, assessments, etc).  Then I uploaded the 200+ photos to Shutterfly.

That particular weekend was kismet as I had a code for a free book and they were running a 1st-time ever promotion of unlimited additional pages for no extra cost!  So I ended up getting a 80 page 8x11 hardback book shipped to me for only $20.  Yes that's right, $20.  It would normally have cost almost $200!  

The book arrived this week and I am *in love*.  The finished product is amazing, the pages look just like my drawings (which have darkened with age) but are all tucked into a neat book.  I'm thrilled!  My kids think it's pretty cool too and enjoyed looking at mommy's drawings from when she was little.

"Look mom you made a turkey hand too". 

A few tips
  • Take photographs in a light room during the day.
  • Try to put them in chronological order if possible.
  • Put the papers on a white background, I used a pillowcase.
  • Don't forget awards, newspaper clippings or 3 dimensional projects.
  • In Shutterfly use a 8x11 book so you can spread out, especially with their "spreads layout" option; visually it's more powerful and true to the original art.
  • Make your book ahead and then wait for a FREE code or fantastic sale.
  • This would make a wonderful gift for a grown-up child! 

For more information on De-Cluttering/Minimizing

I may have to post more about my "butt pillow" someday, it is pretty 1980s awesome.  

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