Shoot your Stuff

photo credit: click here

If you are holding onto something for any of the following reasons, I suggest you take me up on this shoot your stuff mini-mission.

  1. I keep my _____________ because it brings back certain memories.
  2. I can’t get rid of this because ___________ gave it to me, and I don’t want to hurt her/his feelings.
  3. I’m not going to let go of ____________ because it might be worth something some day.

As you are in your clearing the clutter process, the toughest items to clear are often the ones that fit into the above statements.It’s likely, that the things that mean something to you, are stored in a box, where you can’t see them. They might be in your home, but behind glass or put on a shelf, collecting dust. What if there was a better way to preserve your memories, without cluttering your home?

The gifts you’ve received, that didn’t fit into your lifestyle, are in your garage, a box,  or somewhere else not being useful or enjoyed.  As far as your stuff being worth something some day, the immediate value you will get by making space and time for yourself today, far outweighs any monetary gain in the future.

Here’s your mini-mission – Shoot your stuff. Every time you find something that seems hard to let go of, shoot it. Take a digital image and store it in a folder on your computer, or an external hard drive. Then, donate or sell the item. If you aren’t quite ready to let it go, put all the items that you photographed together in a box and tape it shut. I’ll let you know what to next in an upcoming post. This idea will let you better appreciate the memories without the clutter.

Learn more about mini-missions here.

For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.


  1. says

    I’m glad you posted this! I thought I was the only one who thought this was a good idea. I’m even “shooting” old pictures by scanning ’em all.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Ian, That is a great idea to scan photos. I am sorting through mine this week!

  2. says

    Great idea! I think I’ll do this to some item with memories today. And yeah, scanning is a great idea too. After all, these days it’s becoming more secure to store memories digitally anyway.

  3. SuzyR says

    After my husband died, I took photos of his clothing and footwear that most reminded me of him. Doing so made it easier to donate those items to the Goodwill.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Suzy, I can see how that would be helpful and comforting to keep the memories of your husband close by.

  4. says

    THis is exactly the nudge I needed on something that I am wrestlin with shedding. Thank you dear one. I am not ready to part with it for various reasons which some are important and some are not. So i will “shoot” them and then tote it up for the basement with a specific date on it to purge if some conditions dont change. Throwing this out now means I am not hopeful on something and I AM HOPEFUL : )
    Again, simple helpful post. Your good like that.
    God is peace.

  5. Kathy says

    I love this idea! Maybe now I can part with all the items my Mom used to treasure, without parting with my memories of her and times long gone. I have struggled with these possessions since her death in 2001; they don’t fit into my lifestyle but they were part of hers. Guilt and apathy move aside – its time to shoot the china!

  6. Megan says

    This is what I do with the tons of kids’ school art projects, drawings, ceramics, etc. etc. I love them all, but keeping the physical clutter just means more bins of storage or more dust collecting on crowded shelves. Instead, we took photos of them, which the kids love to look through sometimes. If there’s something that is particularly sentimental, we will print out a photo and hang it up on a certain wall in their room. That stays for a while, then when a new favorite comes along, we replace it with a new photo. I think they enjoy the items more looking through the photos on the computer a couple of times a year than if we had them sitting all over collecting dust.

    • Ken says

      This is brilliant! We are clearing out the attic and want to do something with all our daughters art work. I think my wife will be happy with this solution. Thank you.

  7. says

    Wow! This is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing. If you need me, I’ll be taking pictures and then trashing!

  8. Jenn says

    this is too true! I joined instagram last year and being a big thrift shopper and collector of things I was amazed at how unattached i became to items once i had photographed them. i have since given away most if not all of those things as charge towards a minimalist life so i can do more with my time than shop. great idea!!