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Photo mess

A mom hired me to organize decades of disorganized, printed photos kept in mangled boxes tossed in an unused closet. For her daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday, mom wanted to give her a precious photo from each year since birth. She created a lovely pictorial gift and keepsake. Organize your life in photos is a phrase both will remember.

After a client, her husband and two young daughters returned from a European vacation, they had over 700 new digital photos – just from this trip. (No one is going to organize 700+ photos!)

Photos. Hundreds of them. Maybe thousands. Digital. Print. In no particular order. People say photos are their most precious possessions and the first thing they’d grab in a fire.

Then why are they kept in a jumbled mess in old cardboard boxes in a dirty basement, garage or attic? Do people even revisit their photos?

Here are tips to protect your life in photos.

Organize

  • Gather all photos
  • Back up digital pics often
  • Lose the losers
  • Curate the keepers
  • Sort by month, year, decade, holiday, person, family, vacation
  • Label

Ways to Keep – Print

  • Photo albums
  • Photo frame
  • Decorative memory boxes 8”x11”x5” (available at com)
  • Use archival materials for preservation (e.g., com)
  • Give some to family, friends

Ways to Keep — Digital

Chatbooks: From photos on your computer, social media or directly from your camera roll, you can order a photo book in 5 minutes. Get the free Chatbooks app for ios or Android.

This is a lengthy, often tedious process that requires planning. Schedule uninterrupted blocks of time (1-3 hours) in your calendar. To estimate amount of time, a 1” stack of photos equals ~100 pictures (fewer if thicker). By weight, 6-7 pounds equals ~1000-1200 photos.

Keeping in mind the goal to organize your life in photos helps to stay focused and motivated. If needed, enlist help from family, friends or a pro organizer. This is project worth doing for yourself and your family. Imagine how happy that mom felt when giving her daughter a very special photo from each year of her life! Priceless.

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