Home: Simplify

Gary and Vivian Chapman sit on top of old work photos, magazine tearsheets, family photos, and children’s artwork that has been digitized. The originals will be thrown away in an effort to simplify life.

Simplify. Throw away. Give away. Sell. And above all…think before buying anything else. This has been our mandate for the last several months. Vivian and I tossed twenty-five full, black garbage bags of prints, transparencies, tear-sheets and photo album pages in the trash. Things once precious had become an anchor. We decided to get rid of it all. During marathon scanning sessions, everything was digitized and backed-up before the cherished prints were flung in with the household garbage.

There were pangs of, “Are we doing the right thing?” But the freedom of simplicity yields a pleasant peace. No longer will we have to find room to store the huge amount of collected visual media or concern ourselves with future moves or even fret about mold in the basement storage area.  Our memories now all fit on a palm-sized hard drive and will soon be key-worded and searchable, an obvious benefit of the digitizing process.

I have always felt the most freedom when I travel with one camera bag and one piece of carry-on luggage. Less stuff = less to “worry” about. Vivian and I are now trying to take this simple approach with our day to day living as well. Little by little, we are casting off the extra baggage so we can be free to go, free to move, free to do.

Live simply that others might simply live.  –Elizabeth Ann Seton

Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify. –Henry Thoreau

13 thoughts

  1. That is so brave! We just moved and how wonderful it sounds to do with less. I just don’t know if I could bring myself to throw away prints – eek! I know, how silly , even with a digital copy. WOW!

  2. Looks like a big project! Great organising guys but reminds me of how much ordering I need to do of my own archive 🙂

  3. Wow, that would scare me to death. I’s be so afraid I scan something at the wrong dpi or something silly, then toss the originals away and POOF! gone forever. But I love the picture of you two!

  4. Ohhhh….I completely agree, but WOW is it difficult to do…but the two of you are right; there really is no need to keep the clutter. Today’s technology allows us to enjoy a better use of space…and really enjoy the freedom that comes with it.

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