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5 Ways to Start Artifcting

Editor at Artifcts
October 08, 2021

Every conversation we have with someone who is just getting started with Artifcts tends to go the same way. In our enthusiasm to share what we’ve built at Artifcts, we talk about the cool, sentimental, and historic Artifcts we’ve already seen. While we emphasize the “why” to Artifct, we get a lot of “how to” questions.

So, just how do regular people get started? Today we're presenting five strategies others in the Arti Community are using. Got another one to share? Tell us at Hello@Artifcts.com or post a short video to social media to inspire others! 

Artifct That! 5 Strategies to Get Started 

#1  SNAP PICTURES.

If you find yourself thinking you just never have time, snap pictures of objects to Artifct (up to 5 per item!) so that when you're waiting at the doctor's office, killing time before that sporting event starts, or relaxing in front of the TV, you can reminisce and Artifct from the mobile app or your tablet using the photos you’ve accumulated. 

#2  SET A GOAL. 

Many of us know we have a lot of stuff and recognize there's a lot of history there to preserve and share. Maybe it feels daunting. Pick up the Artifcting habit by simply setting goals for yourself. It's more fun than working in five servings of vegetables every day, we promise. Maybe you'll create two new Artifcts per week, maybe 20. Do what works for you! Keep a list throughout the week so you don’t forget what you want to Artifct. 

List of stuff to Artifct

#3  TAKE IT ONE ROOM AT A TIME. (OR ONE BOX.)

Stand in your kitchen and take a look around, open the cupboards and the drawers, check out what's hanging out on the backsplash. Anything of meaning there? Special glasses, a custom cutting board, a cookbook with a favorite recipe? Repeat next time from the closet, garage, living room bookshelf, or other favorite stash location.

#4  STICKY NOTES. YES, STICKY NOTES.

One of our first Arti Community members shared this trick. She's highly visual. So, she puts a small bright yellow sticky note on objects she wants to Artifct so that as her time permits, she remembers to capture the memories behind each item. 

Full disclsoure: She inspired our original How NOT to Artifct video about sticky notes (check it out), but only because before Artifcts, if people relied on notes on objectsnotes that can be lost, faded, or otherwise ruined (unless you're a professional archivist)—little information if any was captured or shared about the objects in our lives.

#5  PICK A THEME, ANY THEME.

We have heard from Arti Community members that the gallery and our blog have helped them to choose themes for Artifcting. Super! Go for it. Here's a list and public examples from actual users that could help you.

Artwork 

Travel souvenirs 

Handmade or custom creations 

Recipes 

Quilts 

Jewlery 

Knick knacks 

Wine 

And more...

Pick the Artifcting strategy that works for you and get Artifcting during this long holiday weekend.

Happy Artifcting!

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© 2021 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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What's New at Artifcts
Gift Your Loved Ones a “Why”

Do not dismiss the power of answering the “Why?” Here are four of its superpowers: 

1. CONNECTION

If you are going to make your niece cart around a sitting Buddha sculpture for her remaining days as part of your last will and testament, you could at least tell her why!

Wills and estate plans by nature focus on the what and often neglect the why. And that’s if the will even references an itemized list of tangible assets! The reality then is loved ones may act out of obligation to respect your wishes and hang onto the items you give them but with a tinge of disgruntled acceptance. 

2. REDUCED CONFLICT

Imagine two people who feel equally attached to an object that once belonged to a deceased loved one. In the will, the object goes to one of those people. To squash any potential disappointment or misdirected anger at the recipient, the owner could share the why and explain the bond between the person and/or object and recipient. Closure, in this case, is another great gift of the why. 

3. LASTING MEMORIES & LEGACY

Your loved ones want to remember you. But memory is fickle. And sometimes, that's your own doing. Did you make up three different versions of events as to how that painting came into your collection? Did you ever tell the story? Set the record straight with any combination of photos, video, audio, and a brief (or long!) story as you Artifct the truth of that object. 

Your loved ones want to remember you. But memory is fickle.

4. BETTER PREPARATION

How many of you reading this have an up-to-date will or estate plan? Odds are you do not, at least according to a report from Caring.com, which said that two out of three US adults and half of UK adults do not have a will.  

Introducing items you cherish into your plan and/or at least into the discussion if you're working with a real live estate planning attorney helps to ensure that your assets will be directed to the correct people, your wishes carried out. It also helps the professionals you rely on to guide you to better understand you and support the full scope of your financial, insurance, tax, and estate plans. 

Join us tomorrow as we discuss these themes and more during Evenings with Artifcts, with guest speaker Dutch Miller. RSVP now > 

Happy Artifcting! 

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Did we miss a superpower of “why?” Let us know at Editor@Artifcts.com and we may feature your addition! 

© 2022 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Evenings with Artifcts Series, Fall 2022

Throughout fall 2022, we're hosting Evenings with Artifcts on Thursday evenings. Our guests in this nine-part series dive into the world of 'stuff' and stories. Below we've provided a week by week feature for each speaker in the series and direct links to the speaker's Artifcts, other related ARTIcles by Artifcts, and the Evenings with Artifcts event recordings. 

Want to suggest a speaker for future live events? We'd love to hear from you! Please contact us at Editor@Artifcts.com.

EVENINGS WITH ARTIFCTS

Matt Paxton joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 1: Matt Paxton (@IAMMATTPAXTON)

Host of the TV show Legacy List with Matt Paxton

DOWNSIZING, CLEANING, ORGANIZING, STORY TELLING

 

Related content: 

- 15 Decluttering Targets for Artifcters

- Event replay on YouTube

Jeff Greenwald joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 2: Jeff Greenwald (@Jeffji)

Acclaimed author, artist, photographer, and speaker

WRITING, TRAVEL BLOGGING, STORIES BEHIND THE OBJECTS

 

Related content:

Is That a Toy Camera?

- Not Sure What to Write? Tips from Jeff Greenwald

- Event replay on YouTube

Dutch Miller joins Evenings with Artifcts

Week 3: Dutch Miller (@Gardenboy)

Estate planner, hobby family historian, Smithsonian volunteer

ESTATE PLANNING, FAMILY HISTORY & LEGACY

 

Related content:

- Gift Your Loved Ones a "Why" (Coming soon!)

- Visit Event replay on YouTube > (Coming soon!)

Read more
Not Sure What to Write? Tips from Guest Jeff Greenwald

He's authored 1000s of articles, several books, and what's maybe the first known travel blog. And on Thursday night during Evenings with Artifcts Jeff Greenwald shared with us simple but powerful tips, and a healthy dose of perspective, to help us craft our own stories behind the objects of our lives.  

Watch the full Evenings with Artifcts event here.

  • It is hard to write about an object with no personal meaning but even harder when it has tremendous personal meaning. Bear that in mind and go easy on yourself. 

  • Start with something true. This is the trick to writing anything nonfiction. For example, start with a little line about where you got the object: “I bought this in a street market in Istanbul.” And from there go on to describe the scene a little bit and what happened there that connects you with the object.  

Start with something true.

  • Other starters for your Artifcts:  

        • Where were you when you acquired the object? 
        • Was it a gift? Who gave it to you? Tell a bit about them. What was your relationship with them that they felt they should give you a gift like that? “The moon Rocket was a gift for my friend Dave Mccutcheon, and he and I have been friends for many years and share a love of robots and spaceships and dinosaurs... all those things we loved when we were kids.” 
        • Why is it important to you?
        • What feelings does it evoke in you?
  • If a story comes to mind, you can just start jotting it down anywhere. Let your thoughts go where they will. It can be a collection of random thoughts that you can look at later and put together into some sort of a story structure. 

  • We all have stories. Writers block comes from our internal critic. It challenges you with, “Why would anybody want to read it? What could you have to say? What makes you think you're so great that anyone should listen to anything you're telling them?” You have to tell yourself, “I have a right to do this because I’m a human being with a story, and the story deserves to be told whether or not you, my internal critic, thinks that it does.” Push the internal critic aside. 
I’m a human being with a story, and the story deserves to be told.
  • If you value the stories and need motivation to begin capturing and preserving those stories with Artifcts, make a deal with yourself like Jeff did. Jeff made a pact to give away the objects once their stories were told. Maybe you’ll choose to Artifct twice per week. Or perhaps you’ll start with those items that are most meaningful to you.  

  • A bit of advice Jeff shared from esteemed author Kurt Vonnegut: Write your stories as though you are writing them for one person, as if you are telling this person each of the stories. It gives all the stories a similar tone, a singular voice. 

  • Always include when and where the object was acquired. These are important details.

  • Struggling with a title? Write out 10 of them. It will help you to start to shape your story, too.

Our stuff, the objects that we collect, that inspire us, they are really not what's important. We do not need to keep them. The only thing that is important are the stories, and the only way to keep the stories is to tell them.

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© 2022 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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