Sometimes the solution to a problem is so obvious that it can’t be seen at all. I re-learned that lesson last week as I ran into a couple of snags in my photo-sorting project.
It’s been 14 years since I last mounted our stash of family photos into albums. Since then I’ve accumulated hundreds of additional prints in a variety of formats covering nearly 90 years of family history. Realizing that my earlier method of mounting photos on self-sticking pages was an archival no-no, I looked for a better, safer way. Surely with the growth of scrapbooking in recent years, something was available that would meet my requirements. Off I went to a huge crafts store.
What a disappointment.
There was a vast selection of scrapbooking materials, but most was cutesy stuff for an artsy-craftsy person. I was looking for the basics, which I found in the form of scrapbooks, but virtually all were designed for 4 x6 prints and none were acceptable for my project. Everything seemed pricey, too.
I finally found what I was looking for – a package of those photograph corners my grandparents used 80 years ago and I used as recently in the 1970s. Still, paying $3.99 for a pack of 240 corners seemed a bit steep to me since I probably paid 29 cents for a pack of 100 the last time I bought them.
Back home I found a couple more partially full packages from years ago and started building my pages. I soon ran out and, instead of returning to the store I knew had them, I began looking for a more reasonably priced alternative.
My search took me to Kmart, Target, Walgreens, Big Lots and Dollar Tree before I found them at Hobby Lobby, on sale, no less, for $2.22 for 250 self-adhesive, clear ones.
The lessons here are that sometimes the old way of doing things trumps the new way and that once you find what you’re looking for, grab it and be satisfied. I hope I’ve learned that lesson, but only time will tell.
Meanwhile, I’ve mounted all those photos and have sorted the duplicates and extras to be given away, thereby reducing clutter and passing on some nifty bits of family history.
With my July 9 De-Cluttering Garage Sale fast approaching, I began last week sorting through some books that I want to sell. I checked online at Bookscouter.com and packed a box of books to sell to Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore. I’ve got some more to sell to other booksellers, too, but that will wait until after the sale.
Larry Lehmer is a professional personal historian and chief legacy planner at When Words Matter, Ltd., who connects generations through their stories. To learn more, visit his web site, send him an e-mail or follow him on Twitter.