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What are Archival Rhythms & Why They Matter

June 2, 2021

Last year, while outside our windows the world was turning upside down, I was laying foundations in the one place I could control…within the walls of my home. Everything around me felt chaotic, and the clutter in my mind and within our physical spaces were all competing for my time and energy…and with a new baby and busy toddler, I didn’t have much of that to give. 

I started working with an incredible local organizer to create systems within our home. It started with my pantry. I was tired of the overwhelming feeling I had when I would open the door and half eaten bags of snacks would fall at my feet. I just wanted a fresh start, to let go of the things we weren’t using, to find a home and a purpose for each item on the shelf. 

I started to ask myself why. 

Why am I holding onto email reminders for a workshop I never signed up for in 2016?

Why do I still have random prints from that styled shoot in 2013 floating around my office?

What are we ever going to do with all these holiday cards? 

“TOSS IT ALL,” I exclaimed to my husband, Matt.

“But, babe, there are some things worth keeping.”

Fair enough. So the sifting process began. Sift. Sort. Trash. Repackage. Reuse. Repurpose. De-clutter. Let go. Breathe. 

It’s amazing to me how this cadence slowly began to infiltrate other parts of our home, and in-turn, other parts of our life. 

Our home office. 

My inbox.

My skincare regimen.

My three year old’s costume collection.

Then, finally, our “Heirloom Items.” The “Grab in Case of a Fire” things. Our photos, digital and tangible. It was these things, especially, that I was inspired to systemize within our life. 

Everything, a rhythm. Everything, a purpose. 

“Archival Rhythms”  are habits that you create within your routine for heirloom documentation, for categorizing the treasures from childhood that will be meaningful to the life story of your babies. 

We are all busy and have the best of intentions when it comes to documenting the earliest days of our children’s lives. We buy the baby books (OH, do we buy the baby books), but when it comes down to diligence and practice, we often get overwhelmed, don’t know where to start, and don’t have enough time. 

These rhythms come from a place of “present minded preservation.” A mindset where heirlooms aren’t “out of sight, out of mind,” not hidden away in boxes to collect dust in the attic, but rather stored in places in the home that are easily accessible so categorizing doesn’t become another thing on the “backburner” of your to-do list. There are things you can complete within this system on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis to avoid the overwhelm or accumulation of childhood memorabilia.

They’re as little as they’ll ever be, yet as big as they’ve ever been.

No matter if your child is ten weeks, ten months, or ten years old, they will never be any smaller than they are at this very moment. Now is the time to begin to put these rhythms into place. To give them (and you, Mama) one of the sweetest gifts of life. Identity. A sense of belonging. A story of becoming. 

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