Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photo Organization Challenge: November

I'm continuing my simple challenge of organizing photos for just two hours a month.


The Memory: Thanksgiving 2006

In honor of her 50th wedding anniversary, Marc's mom treated the whole family to a vacation at an amazing tropical resort in Turks and Caicos. It was bittersweet, since Marc's dad had passed away a year and a half before, but it was a trip of a lifetime. Our kids still talk often of their precious memories from that trip. I, for one, will never forget walking on a beach, holding hands with my honey, asking, "So we're really going to do this?" We announced at dinner that night that we were becoming a homeschool family. : )

The Progress: Goal met!  

I snuck in a few hours of sorting loose photos before we left for Denver last week.   I probably only have a few more hours of sorting until I have them grouped by event.  It was mostly the baby pictures of Anna and Ryne that got so messed up, primarily because I actually did stuff with them. Grace's baby pictures mostly stayed in the envelopes because they were never put in albums or shared. Boo!

The bad news is that I've discovered the bulk of what's causing my clutter problem isn't the photos -- it's all the other stuff that I'm genetically prone to save: hospital scrubs stamped with baby footprints, casts from broken arms, drawings and art projects, invitations and announcements, event tickets and programs, heat sheets and end-of-season stats for swim, VHS and DVD videos, and EVERY SINGLE CARD we've EVER received!

There is some irony in this. Every Christmas I put all the Christmas cards we receive in a ziploc bag and write the year on it. That way, when I make my Christmas card list the following year, I can look through the cards to make sure I didn't forget anyone. Nevermind that I don't have a set location for these ziploc bags, so sometimes I can't find the bag the following year. The irony is that without too much trouble, I could put together a collage of Melanie's family Christmas photos from the last 9 years (because she's one of those organized people who gets her cards done early every year -- love you, Mel). But could I put together a similar collage for my own family? Not a chance.

There's nothing I can do about the past, so I will continue to plug along with my organizing and make sure I get our family's cards done this year. But you could really help me with this next step. Tell me in the comments what to do with all this stuff. What do you keep; what do you toss? Please give me permission to throw away the thank you note from a preschool teacher I haven't seen in a decade. And if you keep some of this stuff, what do you do with it? Here are some ideas I'm considering:

  • Scan artwork
  • Donate most of the greeting cards to Anna's school (they sent out a request)
  • Store Christmas photo cards on a ring 

Once I get past this step, I should be ready to start putting photos in albums -- yea!!!

Happy Organizing!

P.S.  As if I needed further proof that I need to get these photos organized, Grace just sat down by me and asked, "Whose family is that?"  Maybe I should schedule more than two hours this month.  ; )


  1. Sorry, but I am laughing. My idea: (yes, it is more pictures), but take a picture of all the "stuff" like organizing a collage of the baby items on a nice wooden table as the background. Then toss the "stuff" and have just one photo. I've also taken group pictures of artwork. I lay it all on the floor or a table and take pictures. Oh, and I give you permission to toss my past Christmas cards. :)

  2. I read this when you first posted but couldn't see the pic (blogger trouble, I think) and decided I would come back later to comment. Didn't think later would be 12 days!

    I like Melanie's idea. I scan art work and save it to a flash drive. But I don't know what to do with cards. I think I keep them for about 10 years and then finally throw them away but always feel so terrible when I do.

    Love the picture!