I’m beginning to wonder if it’s possible we’re saving too much stuff to hand down to our children. No generation before us has had the ability to record for posterity so much of daily family life. We have audiotapes, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, photo albums, scrapbooks, and computer files documenting birthdays, holidays, school days, play dates, sporting events, vacations, and major and minor accomplishments from birth to adulthood and beyond. Will our kids want all of this? Or are we collecting so much that it will become a burden for them?

Sorting through memories can feel overwhelming. lt’s an emotional journey with people, places and events that shared a moment in our lives. But when it comes to visual reminders, the true essentials are always the ones that we want to continue to view, enjoy, and keep near at hand.

Here are 5 Tips for Paring Down Old Photos:

l. Save the ones that represent personally significant connections to the past. Find out the names of the people pictured before it’s too late to track down the information.

2. Check if what you’d like to save is in good condition. If not, find out if it can be restored or re-produced in another medium.

3. Be prepared to give away or dispose of duplicates, as well as those prints that are unfocused or unflattering.

4. Switch out frames and locations for display so that previously forgotten photos can take on new life.

5. Keep near the ones that make you smile.

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