A Convenient Place?

I have a story that will make you sick. Not literally of course, but as soon as I heard it my stomach flipped.

We’re all struggling with photo overload. Our parents. Our stuff. It’s a lot.  So in an effort to clean out our houses, we turn to short term storage.  I did when we moved and had to stage the house.  We ended up discarding just about everything we’d put away. Turns out we didn’t need it.

Here’s the story.  At photo shows, I chat with vendors. They know my work and I theirs.  It’s a mutual appreciation moment. I think that’s why a vendor told me that twice a week he participates in storage auctions. It’s a real life Storage Wars.

Guess what people are storing in those units. Family heirlooms and photos.  He buys the contents of the unit and sells whatever he can.  The storage facility asks him to return any photos. I know you’re thinking, “oh good.”  Not so fast. When he goes back, he asks what happened to the pictures.  Trashed. Yup. No one came to claim them. They are disposable.

When I heard that I gasped. All I can think about are all the genealogists that would love those pictures. Maybe my “missing” ancestral pictures are sitting somewhere unclaimed doomed for the dump.

I’m not judging. Life happens. The units serve a purpose, but it’s often out of sight, out of mind. We never get around to sorting through those boxes.  If you don’t start today, you may not start tomorrow.  Before long your treasured family photos become someone else’s instant ancestors.