Tips + Tricks

Downsizing? Consider digitizing to cut through the clutter.

Lose the Stuff, Keep the Stories!

Downsizing? Consider digitizing to cut through the clutter.

One of the biggest challenges to downsizing is letting stuff go. Precious memorabilia, gifts, and treasures seem to hold the essence of life. Letting go of them feels like letting go of a little piece of your life.

Here’s the thing, that doesn’t have to be true.

The cluttered space of a an elderly person, filled with mementos of a life well lived.
Clutter may be a matter of taste and tolerance. Organization can protect items and improve your ability to find them.

Empty space, devoid of the love, mysteries, and histories that accompanied you in life is very scary. Yet as we take transitions in life, we have to pack for the next stage and not everything will fit in the wagon.

What makes your stuff precious are the love, stories, and memories you associate with them. These stories are important. They endow the objects with lessons and values. You treasure them and want to share them with your loved ones.

Today we have an option we never really had before: Ponga

You really can let go of the stuff but keep the stories. Take a picture and capture the story in Ponga.

It’s not just that today’s digital photos are handy, inexpensive, and of high quality. They’re all those things. Now you also have the ability to use these pictures to capture stories and memories that your family can listen to, engage with, and add their own contributions. You can’t do this with captions in a photo album or a label.

Take the picture of the room as it was, take pictures of the things. Now, (or later,) take your time telling the stories using Ponga. The Ponga pictures now carry the memories you can share—anytime. A picture of a single object, with its story, becomes something others can even add to.

Here’s a side benefit. When you think about objects in terms of memories, it’s much easier to leave aside the details and focus on the important attributes. Once you have the photos, you can let someone else enjoy the object. Give it to a loved one, sell it—even donate it.

Indulge the digital twin with stories

You’re not just tossing them off into the Ether of social media, you’re capturing and preserving them. Your stories will be safe, protected, and private. In time they can be shared again, perhaps even with those who’ve acquired the object. You’ll have new stories about where the new object has been.

Depending on your timeline and pressures for downsizing, you may not have to make this all one big rushed project. Think of it as graduation or prom night for the objects. You take them into a studio… (or maybe just a room with light and a backdrop) and take pictures.

Just get started

If you can, do it in batches. Ponga creates a time/date stamped album for each batch you add. Add details in the album about why these were all together, perhaps including a photo of the room they were in. Add titles and even descriptions in a few words. Change them later if you like. If you have a mic handy you can just record a few words. Pretty soon the memories will start to collect. You’ll poke around the internet for objects like it, and explore the details and inscriptions. Learn more at

You’re not losing things, you’re gaining stories. ❤ As seen in social media. To connect with Ponga on social media, see

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