What Are You Leaving Your Family?


What are you leaving your family?

Think about it.

The day you die your family will face the arduous task of sorting through the belongings you’ve left behind. Your treasures will become a task for them. Clothing. Linens. Kitchenware. Electronics. Paperwork.

It’s all a task.

Dare I say, a burden?

Not only will they have this task to endure, they must do it while filled with the grief  of your absence, all while they sort your underwear drawer.

Yes, no matter how much you declutter, someone ultimately has to sort your underwear drawer.

Your priorities. Your treasures. Your systems. They won’t matter so much anymore.

Your loved ones will focus on the tasks at hand.

Distribute the belongings. Sell the sellable. Goodwill the Goodwill-able.

And there are your photos.

Photo albums. Easy. A beautiful collection. Easily handed to the people who treasure them most. While I can’t count on anyone in particular loving them as much as I do, I can rest reasonably well knowing SOMEONE will appreciate the time and effort of the collection.

Photos on external hard drives. Not so easy. But collected. If they are all in one spot that someone is aware of,  they have greater likelihood staying together and someone saying, “hey, this is where Katrina’s 158,000 photos are. She put a lot of time and effort and energy into these. I think we should keep it.” And perhaps they place it on a shelf for safekeeping, for that day when they will “get to it.”

Photos on your computer. Things get tricky. Are they spread everywhere? Are they in a hodgepodge of files and folders with weird names that you can’t even deal with? Hmmm. I don’t think your family is going to work to get those treasures together. After they’ve seen the 37th sunset photo, I might expect them to lose a little steam. I know I would.

So, what’s the point?

Print your stinking photos. Get them into albums or a book or a box or something. LOOK at them now. Create a treasure that your family can treasure.

Oh, and by the way, this entire post? Talking to myself. If it helps you…that’s a bonus!


  1. This post finally kicked me in gear to getting some photos printed, and now I have a 2016 photobook on its way, featuring photos by me and my husband, and a handful of others. I also ordered a second one to surprise my husband, of our theatre company’s first show. Can’t wait to see them, and I think this will be an excellent tradition and investment going forward. Thanks so much for the kick!

  2. Lori Mitchell

    As someone who just sorted through literally 22 bankers boxes of photos from my mom’s house, a good tip would also be to put names on the photos – especially babies and children. I have about four bankers boxes of photos of people whom I have no clue who they are. And, for what it’s worth, I am so guilty of saving photos to my hard drive and not printing them out. Thank you for the reminder!

  3. Heather Bates

    Digital is wonderful in so many ways, but yep I’ve fallen into the way of not publishing photos. New Year’s resolution coming up! Yearly photobook at the very least. I’ll start with 2016 and work my way back. As my dear Mum in Law says, a bit at a time, and it is amazing what can be achieved. Looking forward to the results.

  4. Kari Ploysa

    can anyone tell me if there is a way to get emails when new blog posts are posted?

  5. Kari Ploysa

    I hear you!

  6. Juliebush

    Oh boy ! That felt like an echo in my head 😊 I need to get on this. Thank you for the reminder. Now……to just do it lol

  7. Martha Schlesselman

    So true, Katrina, and for me easier said than done! I used to do it and then life got busy. Now I’m so far behind its daunting. Perhaps a goal for 2017 is to begin again, just one “occassion” at a time. I can’t finish if I don’t start, right?! This was the perfect read for me today…thank you!

    • It can be daunting! I am starting with curating what is most important to me today rather than tackling all of it. Even if we just print a few and tell a few stories, it’s better than none.

  8. Oancea Sorin George

    Hear, hear…

  9. Carol Elliott

    Talking to me as well …

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