Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A lesson I learned

Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you this photo?


That was the mess of old photos waiting to be organized on my dad's dining room table. That mess taught me a very important lesson. If we don't take care of our messes now, we'll pass them onto our children. Oh sure, I didn't need a table full of photos to teach me that. All I had to do is go take a peek at the kids' bathroom floor that's littered with towels, clothes, etc. to see they are following in my footsteps quite well. I was a messy child and consequently I have a hard time being neat as an adult and a harder time teaching my children to be neat. The photos are really just a reminder of the lesson of which I've already been painfully aware. So one of my primary goals this school year is to work on building some new habits in regards to cleanliness. This goal is for me just as much as it is for the kids.

Back to the photos. My mom left a mess. I know she didn't mean to. I'm sure she always thought there would be time later to organize photos. She didn't know a brain tumor would cause her life to end early. I've been making similar excuses for years. I just don't have time to scrapbook anymore. But while I've been making excuses, my mess has been growing larger and larger and larger. I have boxes and boxes and boxes of photos that need sorting. And that's just from the pre-digital age. My computer files are worse. It makes me sad because my kids have hardly seen any of these pictures of their early days. And it makes me even sadder to think that some day when I'm gone they might be just overwhelmed as they look at my mess and say, "Why, Mom? Why did you never put these in albums?"

So I've decided to challenge myself. I'm starting with baby steps -- just two hours a month. I'm committing two hours to sort and organize and file these photos. And I'm going to report on my progress here at the blog, so I feel a sense of accountability. You are welcome to join me in my challenge. In fact, I'd love to have others join me! If you already have all your photos organized, I'm so jealous -- but the rest of us would love for you to share your tips for success.

I spent some time in Texas organizing my mom's photos and was surprised at how much I could get accomplished in a few hours.


I was able to organize all the photos from the last couple of decades and fill four albums. They weren't beautifully scrapbooked albums, but the kids enjoyed looking at them anyway -- and isn't that really the point?

I'm looking forward to reporting on my progress at the end of September!


  1. I'm sorta on the other end of the spectrum...a little OCD about being organized and such. HOWEVER, I do have three years of pictures in my computer. So, yes, I will join you in this challenge! :)

  2. Yes, I am setting my children up for a major photo clean up one day. I can't join your challenge right now but I look forward to seeing your progress and may make it a summer project. I think you're on to something by getting them into albums and not making sure every page is beautiful, just organized.

  3. Kellie, You can do it!!!! : )
    When Sam was born, I said I would be diligent in putting photographs in albums. I am so thankful that I have kept it up, and for all four of the kids, for myself, and also for my mother-in-law (I send her photo pages each year that she places in albums)....and have done this for 15+ years. However, last year, I was completely tired of doing it. I am now saving photos in separate files on the computer to make photo books through an online company for me, my mother-in-law, and all of the kids to be given at Christmas. I have even taking pictures of newspaper clippings so those will be in them, too! : )No more glue and scissors for this gal.