How to Tackle Your Paper Photo Organizing

 

 

Our family photos are treasured keepsakes. We have bins of photos from family, duplicates from grandparents and photos from family friends at cherished events.  We have been keeping these cherished memories to have time to work on this tedious, enormous project.  Let’s break this paper photo organizing project into management chunks.

 

Plan

With a big project, you want to give yourself a project plan. In project management, we assess the budget, time and resources to do work. To start, where will the work be done? What time do you have to allocate weekly or monthly for this project? What goals do you have with this project? Is it sharing with family? Do you want to create a coffee table photo book? This planning phase will be important for you to enjoy the process and the product.  The best plan gives you a space to spread out for a considerable amount of time to work on this project. Write in a time on your planner to organize. It is creating the success for your project this way.

Consolidate

Where are your  photos hiding? It’s time to pull them out from every closet and your garage. Get these all together in one place to assess what you have to work with and organize.  Consolidating makes this project efficient.  It may feel overwhelming, however this is the best first step to know that you will be happy with the results.  As you gather, create a storage spot inside your home to keep all these containers together to start your project.

Organize

The organizing phase for paper photos starts with categorizing. The categories can be people, events or year. People can be your children, your nuclear family and your extended family. Events include weddings, births, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and more.  It can be hardest to determine a year with paper photos. You can macro sort into boxes by person and family, then event.

Here is a decision to make.  Where you organize and sort you may or may not be using the final product for storing your paper photos. Start with a sorting mechanism (think shoe box) and then decide on archival storage later. If you decide that scanning and online access is best, then you may not need these products.

As you sort and finalize your categories, be sure to use consistent naming and labeling. It can be 2020 Events or Events 2020. Either way you can create an order that works for you.

 

Edit

Remember all those photos we have seen without heads?  Do you have wonderful photos of landscapes and have no idea where in the world this is? You might have multiples or multiples of photos. We all have duplicates and bad shots. Now is the time to edit without regret. You can let go of doubles, multiples, and any photos that bring up negative feelings (such as that broken engagement or sad times as a family.)

Photos do not need to be shredded. You can toss these or give them a proper send off if you feel uncomfortable letting these go.

Scan

Scanning is a large project and can be slow in process. It is efficient to scan all at one time. Scan and check work as you go to be sure you are capturing the images properly. With your organized photos, scan in batches. Rename your batches as you go.  Use a consistent naming convention with a standard key words helps you find your photos. Consistent naming uses the category names.

Back up is critical for your scanned photos.  If you haven’t noticed, it’s not IF you will need a back up, it’s WHEN. There is Backblaze and Carbonite for your computer. Some purchase photo site storage at Shutterfly and Snugmug.  Having 2 or 3 back ups is key to photo preservation.

 

Produce

Now for the fun! It’s time to decide what you want to produce. Photo books are by far the most popular. You can make multiple copies for family members. These can be used for fun family gifts such as Christmas ornaments, mugs or mouse pads. Family slide shows are fun for reunions and big birthdays (those ending in 0 or 5).

 

Pitfalls

A final word on the pitfalls of organizing paper photos.

  • It is easy to get stalled out while over viewing your photos. Keep in mind how much you want to accomplish in the time you have.  If you find yourself enjoying the photos too much and dragging along, set a timer to help keep you on track on your project.
  • Create a team for this project. Invite your siblings and kids to be a part of the process. It will be a joy-filled time to work together.
  • Outsource part of this project. There are many local companies that will scan your photos for you.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. This is a big project so carry on and organize on. Celebrate each success along the way.

 

Want to organize your digital photos too? Click here! 

 

 

How to Tackle Organizing your Digital Photos

Organizing photos

 

When asked about what we must take with us in an emergency, we all say our photos!  Our photos are our most precious stuff.  We have them on our smart phones, cameras, social media online and in print.  It’s easy to over snap and not come back.  It can be overwhelming after a birthday party or family event to gather them together. Our photos are our way of capturing the magic of the moment.  Organizing your photos means you will truly enjoy them.

 

The best solution for organizing photos follows a routine that works well with your routine.  Allow time once a month or immediately after a family event to work with your photos. We jump back into life and don’t get the opportunity to reflect and enjoy our photos. It helps to set a time to work with these.  Summer can be a great time to reminisce, review and organize your photos.

 

Start with a plan.

How will you group your photos? With paper or digital photos, we can group chronologically, by events like holidays, birthdays or trips, or by family member.  Keep in mind your family will be growing, like adding grandkids and partners.   Write out your plan and then create folders online to capture the photos as you consolidate them. If you are working with paper photos, you can use photo boxes.  Make a plan and test it with sorting.  Remember, you can delete photos as you work to keep only the best photos.

 

Begin consolidating.

Get all your digital photos together in one place. For me that’s on my computer.  I email them to myself from my smart phone, download from Facebook, and move them from my camera with a cord.  There are many services that automate consolidating to get all your phots in one place such as GooglePhotos, Dropbox and AmazonPhotos.  Keeping all your photos in one place makes it easy to know what you have.

 

Always backup your photos.

There are lots of ways to do this.  I use Carbonite to back up all the time. Highest recommendations are for for GooglePhotos, Dropbox, Smugmug and Shutterfly.  Each allows a certain amount of space with additional space for a fee. Scanning is the way to back up your paper photos. There are options for you to scan yourself or services to delegate.

 

Taking the next step is the fun part.

Decide what photos you want to print, create a digital photo album, or create a gift.   I keep framed pictures of grand kids throughout my home. I know the frame sizes so each season I print out an updated photo.

  • If you are just starting a photo grouping in a hallway or on a desk top, choose the frames first, then purchase the pictures.
  • My daughter in law does a birthday book for each child. The book consists of 5- 8 printed pictures from each birthday, placed in sequence in a photo album. The kids love looking through these each year.
  • Other options include digital scrapbooks from Shutterfly and even Walgreens.com.
  • For Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthdays, gifts like mouse pad, calendar or mug are wonderful ways to share photos.
  • Remember to give yourself plenty of time to choose the photos you want to share.

 

Keep your most precious items safe with backing up and organizing digital and paper photos.

5 Fun Organizing Activities for Summer

 

summer organizing

Its just a little too hot to get too excited about organizing. But what about those fun organizing projects you have been putting off?  Here are 5 fun summer organizing projects that will make you swell with pride that they are now off your list.

  • Remember that enormous stack of magazines you have not had time to read all year? Grab a handful and hang out by the pool or beach. Be sure to eliminate them as soon as you have read through them.  Once is enough for browsing!   Drop them off at a local emergency care room for those waiting. 
  • Love your family photos but not sure how well these digital treasures are organized?  Set up categories on  your computer to start with, then begin gathering them from all the iphones, ipads, digital cameras, and facebook. You will be so thrilled to have them in one spot. Now you are ready to make a picture book too!
  • Are recipes all over in your home, papers, or office? Now is the time to gather them together.  Sit with a tall glass of tea and be realistic what you will make. Does the recipe require too many ingredients, too much time, or no one but you will eat it? Time to toss the extra recipes and keep just what you want.  Set up categories, sort and decide if a notebook or recipe box will be better to keep these.
  • Get ahead for fall by creating your family command center. This fall you will be the most organized ever by setting up a calendar, corkboard, chalkboard and wall pockets to keep your family activities organized.  Browse on http://pinterest.com/EllenDelap/family-command-centers-communication-and-organizat/ to gather ideas. Then head to your favorite HomeGoods, Target, WalMart or other shop to pick up and install all the pieces.
  • Organize a ME day. This is a day just for you to regroup, relax, and rejuvenate.  Your family has lots going on and you will need time to “put on your own oxygen mask first.”  Set aside time throughout the summer for this important and precious time.

What fun organizing activities do you have planned this summer?