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Exclusive articles, interviews, and insights covering downsizing & decluttering, genealogy, photos and other media, aging well, travel, and more. We’re here to help you capture the big little moments and stories to bring meaning and even order to all of life’s collections for generations.
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Evenings with Artifcts Kicks Off October 18

It's that time again! Evenings with Artifcts is back with an all-new five-part series this fall. What topics are on the docket this time around? Telling your story, a culinary lens to women's history, photography tips, and panels to answer all your questions on organization and more will be streaming into your home!

Be sure to RSVP for the events each week for our new series. You're welcome to share with friends, family, and others you meet. The more the merrier!

If you missed any of our past Evenings with Artifcts, catch up now!



Bob Jordan joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 1: Bob Jordan (@NUZMAN9)

Former television news anchor; professional videographer at Video Family Biographies



Related content: 

- Watch the replay on YouTube ->

- Interested in storytelling tips for your Artifcts? Check out this ARTIcles story.

Gena Philibert-Ortega joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 2: Gena Philibert-Ortega (@GENAORTEGA)

Author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is family, food, and social history + material culture



Related content: 

- Eager for more? Check out Gena's book: From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes

- Artifct all things culinary with help from our culinary checklist and "How to Artifct Recipes

- Watch the replay on YouTube ->

Linda Pordon joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 3: Linda Pordon (@LINDAP)

Interiors and brand photographer



Related content: 

- ARTIcles by Artifcts: Three Tips for Elevating Yout At-Home Photography

- Artifcts Inspirational Checklists: Photographs

- Watch the replay on YouTube ->

Organizing for the Holidays on Evenings with Artifcts

Week 4: Professional Panelists Talk Organizing & the Holidays

Interior design, organizing, and paper declutter



Related content: 

- ARTIcles by Artifcts: Decluttering Targets in Your Home

- Artifcts Inspirational Checklists: Decluttering

- When the avalanche of catalogs hits, save the back cover, then unsubscribe here.

- Watch the replay on YouTube ->

Surviving Downsizing on Evenings with Artifcts

Week 5: Survival Tips from a Serial Downsizer (@MATT)

Father, world traveler, and serial downsizer



Related content: 

- ARTIcles by Artifcts, including: The True Story of One Man's Triumph Over 'Stuff'

- Artifcts Inspirational Checklists: Decluttering

- Watch the replay on YouTube ->

If you'd like to suggest a topic or speaker for future events, share with us at


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Tips for an Easier Move with Artifcts

Reading time: 5 minutes 
I grew up in the same house. My first move was to college. Me and my minimalist tendencies, I would have been fine with a backpack of clothing and a laundry bin of bedding and essentials. My mother being the maximalist had different plans. Let’s just say I was the only freshman with a banana hanger.  
Fast forward 20 something years. I’ve moved three times in as many years. And yet … it’s still not easy. The stuff doesn’t move itself. It requires planning, staging, boxing, moving, unpacking, and, in our case, a good dose of, “Mom, did you pack my [insert name of thing here]. I can’t find it.” Let’s just say if finding things post-move was a varsity sport, I would have lettered in it by now. 
As a founder of a tech company dedicated to ‘stuff’ you’d think I’d have it figured out by now. I don’t. Each move for me is an opportunity to assess what worked and what didn’t, and to reassess what we have and why we have it. I still have my minimalist tendencies although I’ve swapped my maximalist mother for a super maximalist (and very sweet and sentimental) spouse. 
So, what’s a girl to do? I’ve pulled together some tips based on what I wish I had known, and what I had wished I had done the first, second, and yes, third go-around. 

      1. Hire a move manager. If you’re anything like me—trying to juggle work, kids, and aging in-laws—a move manager is key. You don’t need to be downsizing to work with your local NASMM partner. Contemplating a move? Call them, you won’t regret it. It takes the pressure off you and gives you a trusted, vetted, and expert resource to help you pre-, during, and post-move. 
      2. Artifct fragile, valuable, or especially sentimental items before you pack. You never know what will happen during the move. Best to have the memory, photos, and details saved. In our case, moving an overly excited golden retriever can do as much if not more damage to cherished belongings than a dropped box in transit. And, if something happens to one of your valuable items, you can share the Artifct with your insurance agent to expedite the claims process!  
      3. Artifct all other special items as you unpack. If you physically must unpack and put away every last item, Artifct the ones that mean something to you, and don’t forget to use the “In the future” field to note what you want to happen to the item in the future. Not only are you unpacking (yay!) you’re also creating a roadmap for your family of what to do with all your stuff one day down the road. It’s a win-win. (Added bonus: Use the “Location” field to note the item’s new location. It’s been a life saver in our house the past few weeks since our move.) 
      4. As you unpack, set aside items you haven’t used in a year or items you completely forgot you own. Hold off putting them away until you ask yourself, "Do I really need this? Do I want this?" If you are limited in space and holding on to an item for purely sentimental reasons, consider Artifcting it and then donating or re-homing it. Moving can be a great time to embrace the art of Swedish Death Cleaning
      5. Got children? You probably have their stuff too. Get them involved early and often. Giving them something to do helps you and them! You can check out our Pint-Sized Perspectives on Moving for more tips on moving with children. As for our older children, if you’re reading this, your stuff awaits you. You know what will happen to it if it remains unused or unclaimed for more than a year. Chop, chop! 
      6. Worried about critical documents and sensitive ‘stuff,’ such as passports, tax returns, and the like? Skip the boxes and carry them with you.
      7. About those boxes. Serial mover? Think twice before trying to reuse old boxes, the integrity of which may have been weakened during the last move. Reusing boxes may also be prohibited by movers and insurance agents. Better to be safe than sorry and either use re-usable plastic bins (like we did for the last three moves!) or invest in new boxes to ensure your ‘stuff’ doesn’t get damaged in transit. 
      8. Don’t forget to mark and position the boxes or bins that you need for immediate use in your new home. Nothing is worse than not being able to make a bed or take a shower after a long day of moving. Our daughter should know—she ended up in a sleeping bag for a day or two on move number two until we could locate her bedding.  
      9. And just for laughs, don’t forget to turn off or redirect your auto-shipments. No sooner had we moved out of our last place than a 30 lb. bag of probiotic dog food arrived. I hope the new occupants saw the humor in that! We did; our golden retriever, not so much.  

@Sasso is holding out hope for that missing bag of dog food. 

Have your own tried and true tips for moving? We’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at 


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Stuck in the Middle, With Stuff: The Sandwich Generation

Reading time: 4 minutes

Got stuff coming at you from both ends – kids and parents? Feel like the peanut butter and jelly mushed in the middle of a generation sandwich? 

Well, I do. I’ve got stuff coming at me from my mom and dad80 years of collections and counting—as well as stuff I still can’t shake from 26+ years of parenting. Bottom line, it’s a lot of stuff.  

Until recently, I felt that having lots of stuff required having bigger spaces and storage, lots of storage. The responsibility fell on me to keep it all and be ready to receive more if or when my parents are gone and as my kids move out but are not yet willing to “receive” their stuff. 

Times and circumstances changed quickly for me, however, and my “storage unit” mentality shifted from “more is better” to “why do I have all this stuff, and do I really need it.” I have moved and downsized twice over the past three years, forcing me to take a hard look at what I have, what I need, and what I want to keep for my kids. Thankfully for me, Artifcts came into being just as I was embarking on my first downsize.    

What I See Now When I Look at My Parents’ Stuff 

On my mom’s side of the fence, she has lots of stuff. Some of it is really important—mementos of her early days with my father, pieces of family history she’s carefully curated over generations. She is certainly the family-keeper. Other things are, well, I assume just things. The problem is sometimes I’m wrong.   

Take for instance a brick that was tucked in the back of her hutch. Family heirloom or home improvement project gone awry? Family heirloom! Turns out it is a brick from the church she and my father were married in way back when. HOW was anyone supposed to know? Even she admits that she only told me the story when I had the brick in my hand, ready to put it in the garbage bag. Family history crisis averted. Family history Artifcted. 


Family history, Artifcted!

I’ll give my mom a lot of credit—she’s Artifcted over 200 items, a lot of them we’ve done together, or she’s done with her grandkids. She’s led the way in capturing and sharing our family history through Artifcts. I know she has a lot more to do, and I am hoping to get other family members involved in helping her in the months ahead. 

My older brother retires in a few months, which I think makes him the perfect person to pass the baton to as our family history documenter/Artifcter. As he combs through the generic and obvious stuff, I’ll ask him to put aside anything with a possible story or deeper meaning. The 12-year-old food cans in the cupboard are trash. But what about the vintage kid art (did I make that?), the scraps of cloth in a bin (unfinished baby blanket?), or gold Egyptian hieroglyphic pendant (travel memento?). Those unknowns must have a story behind them. We are lucky that our mom is still with us, and that she is there to tell us the stories as we decide what to the keep, toss, or donate.  

The Kids’ Items Got Some Tough Love, Too 

On the kid’s side, oh – that’s the guilt factor! I have those odd drawings, the report cards, the clay ceramic blobs shaped like an abstract [insert word here]. The kids just look to their futures and walk out of their rooms without even dusting. After months, you go in and look around and find things that you wish you hadn’t found. Then, you realize they’re not coming back to clean it out. Then you realize you’re moving and they’re still not coming back to help.   

For me, I packed up what I thought was important and then started Artifcting the things that I knew were important but would sit in a box FOREVER if I hadn’t Artifcted them. What’s the point of boxing things up if you’re never going to look at them again?   

Yes, the kids may get upset that I didn’t keep their heartthrob concert poster signed by [insert name of a not so famous side-stage performer], but a quick Internet search revealed it would cost more to buy a poster tube than the poster was worth. What to do when faced with such a tough decision? Well, Artifct it and be done with it! If the kids complain, I’ll show them the memory, have them add to the story, and make a real moment out of it. 

The moral of this tale is simple: sandwich life is tough enough without all the stuff weighing you down. Artifct! Artifcting has enabled me to document our family stories, enjoy reliving moments with my family, and most importantly, let go of the stuff that doesn’t matter! Well, at least not all of the stuff. My wife likes to remind me that we still have bins that have not been opened since the last move, but that’s another story and task for another day.  


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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How Swedish Death Cleaning Helps You During a Move

Reading time: 5 minutes 

Today's story features insights from MaryKay Buysse, co-executive director of the National Association of Senior and Specialty Move Managers (NASMM). We're so grateful to her for sharing her perspective and insights! 

The new show streaming on Peacock, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, has returned author Margareta Magnusson’s concept of “Swedish death cleaning” to the headlines. The idea she outlined in her book is deceptively simple: Continuously organize and declutter your home to reduce the burden on loved ones of sifting through hundreds of objects to decide what is significant and should be kept, and what needs to move on out, “to make the later years of our lives as comfortable and stress-free as possible.” (Did you catch last week's piece in ARTIcles on Swedish Death Cleaning a Marriage? Check it out, too!
Artifcting is a means to continuously and easily practice Swedish death cleaning: Keeping track of and acting on “what’s next” for the items you Artifct, while also preserving the memories and stories. As August is Make-A-Will Month and a very popular time for home moves, we think it’s important to bring you matter-of-fact tips and perspective to help you deal with all that stuff!

“You Just Need a Moving Truck and Dumpster”

We know that some people say, “Oh, don’t worry, push comes to shove, in just two days you can clear out a house of all the stuff.” That sounds great – but you might struggle to imagine how that would exactly get done. There’s a good reason for your disbelief. 
“Haste equals regret!” emphasized MaryKay Buysse. “No one’s life should be so marginalized that we believe it can be downsized in 48 hours, start to finish. It’s not just rent a dumpster and a van. It should be done thoughtfully and intentionally. You must honor that life, that home" ... and Artifcts can be the tool move managers use to get it done! Listen in > 
“That’s why we think Artifcts is transformative for the move management industry. It has the power to change how a move manager works and speaks with their clients for this very reason – honoring the history and memories. Artifcts has so much value.” 
What she said! You stand to lose so much history, so many memories, and maybe even provoke family arguments over heirlooms lost, not to mention the potential financial value to all that you toss. Do you know that sometimes people give up on moving altogether because they don’t want to deal with the stuff? Don’t let that happen to you!

Top Tips for Accelerating Your Moving Process

There’s a better way to get through all the stuff. First, bring Artifcting into the process to recognize and record what you cherish and hold onto those memories, even if you do not keep all the stuff. Because, as MaryKay also emphasized, when it comes to sorting and decluttering for a move, “Every object has to have its moment where the client and move manager discuss it.”

For all the rest, the reality is few of us really knows what lurks in every drawer or closet, “And despite the popularity of all these new approaches to organizing, decluttering, and minimalism, people still seem to have the same amount of stuff,” said MaryKay. 
Professional move managers have time-tested strategies to accelerate the process and reduce the physical and emotional stress on you while setting in motion your intentions for all your ‘stuff.’ Here are a few of our favorite tips from our conversations with MaryKay: 
Bite size to-do list.

Tactical lists really will help make you more efficient. There’s a reason why science-backed research on habit formation as well as professionals with decades of experience in downsizing and decluttering recommend starting with smaller (and maybe less emotional, too!) tasks first. You score some wins, find a process that works for you, and get stuff done. Wins building on wins.  
The move manager you hire will consult with you and then prepare a customized list to keep you on track for your move goals, whether the move is in one year or three months, upsizing or downsizing, domestic or international. Action lists will include sorting, space planning, and more! 
Group items.

Listen in to MaryKay's take on "grouping" to help make more rapid progress:

Here are a few examples, so you can get the idea of how grouping can help:

  • Perhaps with your move you want a reset on all linens (towels, pillows, sheets, etc.). You can donate those to better use and start fresh. A whole category, done!
  • If moving to assisted living and there’s no oven in your suite because main meals are provided, then you have no need for any of your baking or cooking tools. Done! Well, except for an item or two that is sentimental or becomes decorative. Aprons and muffin tins anyone?
  • If you are no longer in love with a collection, have dropped a hobby, or are changing lifestyles, you may let friends, neighbors, loved ones, collectors groups, or fellow hobbyists (or aspiring) know, so you can sell, donate, or rehome these items.

Work with a specialist.

Digitization and organization of legal, financial, and other documentation – family research, artwork, and photos, for example – ideally saves you from moving all of it, provides secure storage and backup storage, and make these resources available to you whenever, wherever you need them. We are not saying toss every hard copy. But digitization is your ally and creates a personal archive for you and your family to last generations.

For the physical copies you keep, professional archivists can help ensure the items are protected from the elements and remain accessible to you, like the recipe card from Grandma you’ll need the next time you want to make her famous spanakopita or when you want to redecorate and display the newspaper article you were featured in! If you don’t have someone local, you can at least shop smart for safe ways to store and display your treasured items. Explore Archival Methods and Gaylord Archival.

Monocurate describes benefits of archival preservation

© Monocurate, LLC.

If your top priority is digitizing and organizing photos old and new, a professional photo organizer in your area may also be able to help get you started.

Involve Family.

This tip is more like a strong warning: Do not overlook the adult children. Now, in your situation, you might swap out “adult child” with another family relation, a close friend, or a neighbor. The point is, who else is close to the person who is moving—or death cleaning—and may have strong feelings about what’s going where? 
No one wants to watch grown adults fight over ‘stuff.’ Bring in others and do it early to avoid more emotional pain and trauma.

Happy Artifcting!


Know someone who is planning to move? Gift them an Artifcts membership to help them through the process and beyond!

Green gift box with pink bow


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Introducing Artifcts' Allies in 'Stuff'

We want to help each person to transform stuff from a potential burden today and on future generations to the source of immediate connection, history, legacy, and financial security. We cannot do it alone. 

The world of ‘stuff’ is broad and sometimes overwhelming! Artifcts helps you to connect the stories and stuff, enjoy walks together down memory lane, support your wills and insurance coverage, and think through and document what to keep based on those hard tradeoffs between the emotional and financial value (and space!).  

Others can help you preserve, sell, move it all, and more!

Today We're Unveiling Artifcts' Allies in 'Stuff'

Our allies are resources to help expand your awareness of the possible for you and all your ‘stuff.’ The organizations represented cut across multiple categories:

      • Digitization & Preservation
      • Organizing, Decluttering, & Moving
      • Valuations & Sales
      • Family History & Documentation
      • Preparedness & End-of-Life
      • Artistic Renditions

We have met with every company directly, reviewed their products, and are confident they can help or, at the very minimum, inspire. We have focused on those with broad national, and many international, footprints and services. Yet we know sometimes going local is what's needed, required, or desired. Learn about the possible in the world of stuff here at Artifcts! Head over to Allies in 'Stuff,' click to read about each company, and download the Allies map to have on hand as a reference.


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Evenings With Artifcts is Back This Spring!

We're back with a new collection of captivating guests for a five-part Evenings with Artifcts series. Our guests this spring will dive into themes including genealogy, moving, and insurance.

If you missed the fall series of Evenings with Artifcts, catch up now! And be sure to RSVP for the events each week for our spring series. You're welcome to share with friends, family, and others you meet. The more the merrier!


Matt Paxton joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 1: Matt Paxton and Zoë Kim (@IAMMATTPAXTON)

Host of the TV show Legacy List with Matt Paxton; author and creator of Raising Simple



Related content: 

- 15 Decluttering Targets for Artifcters

- Check out Raising Simple on Instagram

- Watch the Evenings replay on YouTube ->

Thomas MacEntee joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 2: Thomas MacEntee (@tmacentee)

Genealogy author, educator, and speaker



Related content: 

- Genealogy Tech with Thomas

- Connect with Thomas

- Artifcts Checklist for Genealogy Gems

- Watch the Evenings replay on YouTube -> 

Kimberly Melton joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 3: Kimberly Melton (@kmelton)

Professional in photo organizing



Related content: 

- Let's Talk Photo Negatives and VHS Tapes

- Rescue Mission: That's More Than a Photo

- A Virtual Impossibility: Keeping Up with All My Digital Photos

- Watch the Evenings replay on YouTube -> 

National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers

Week 4: National Assoc. of Senior & Specialty Move Managers

Training Programs and Certification



Related content: 

- Replay of the co-founders of Artifcts on Hello! with NASMM

- Access the complete collection of ARTIcles by Artifcts for downsizing and decluttering

- Watch the Evenings replay on YouTube ->

Howard Insurance joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 5: Howard Insurance

Boutique insurance advisory & risk management firm



Related content: 

- Artifcts In Real Life: Insurance and Estate Planning

- Access ARTIcles by Artifcts for Legacy, Planning, & More

- Watch the Evenings replay on YouTube ->

If you'd like to suggest a topic or speaker for future events, let us know at


© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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