One of the biggest motivators for organizing family photos is sharing the fruits of your labors with all your near and distant relatives. Won’t your second cousin once removed be thrilled to see a photo of her grandma that she didn’t know existed? I’m going to talk more about that kind of sharing in a few days.
But what about sharing the organizing process itself? As the expression goes, many hands make light work. So, are there tasks you can share with others to ease your burden? Even kids can get in on the act! Older kids could help sort photos like I described in my previous post, and anyone can help remove duplicates (more on those soon!). In the process, they might even learn a little bit about their family history, photography, and organization!
I have been taking small batches of photos to my mom’s house the past couple of weeks to sort through and identify. My sister, who lives in Scotland, has been able to join in via Zoom. I’m not really sure how much actual organizing progress we’ve made, but we have laughed ourselves to tears revisiting these old photos, whether we knew who was in them or not.
If you can find someone to share the process with – either in person or via video chat – you may find that the time flies by and what seemed like a chore has become a treasured memory of time spent together. And I know plenty of older folks are homebound because of covid-19 and would welcome any distraction. The underlying motivation here, of course, is that some family members have knowledge of people and places and family history that will be lost when that person passes away.
Start small – keeping your organizing sessions to an hour or two – and be mindful of emotions that old photos might bring up. This goes for you, too! There will be some tender moments in addition to the hilarity, and it’s okay to walk away for a bit. It’s just another example of the power of photos and a reason to be sure they are preserved.