Its that time of year again. It’s time to get the kids ready for school, and to get back into your daily routine. As summer vacations come to an end now is the perfect time to make sure your photos end up in scrapbooks instead of show boxes.
We take photographs to remember the moments with our friends and family. For many, these photos end up stashed away, never to be looked at again. Here are some solutions for getting your photos in order, out of the shoeboxes, and into albums.
Start with your most recent summer or vacation photos. When you come home from vacation, decide what you want to have printed. Many people who utilize digital photography still insist on printing all of their photos. Print only the ones that you will put into an album.
Having your photos printed right away gives you the luxury of remembering the order in which events occurred. Most people want to show off their photos when they return home, not six months down the road.
Once you have selected your vacation photos and had them printed, make an appointment with yourself to put them into an album, or a scrapbook. Try to do this within one month of returning from your vacation. After all, you want to show them off right away don’t you?
While still on vacation, write down your daily itinerary. (If you have already returned home, write down what you can remember.) At dinner each night, have your family write down their favorite moments, rides, or meals. Use these cards to help you create albums and scrapbooks. Make sure to pack index cards and pens when you go on vacation!
If you are ready to organize all of your photos, start by gathering them from all over your home. Next, discard any unwanted duplicates, blinking photos, or just plain bad shots. If you don’t want to show it off, is it worth keeping?
Then organize the remaining photos by year, child, or event. Set aside the photos you want to put into albums or scrapbooks, and purchase plastic photo storage boxes for the rest. Clearly label the contents of each box.
Some direct marketing scrapbook companies offer photo-sorting classes. Consider hosting one for your friends. This will help everyone get organized!
To ensure that scrapbooking is as easy on you as possible, keep a stockpile of materials (stickers, pages, adhesives, etc) on hand. This way when you have ten minutes you can scrapbook instead of having to take a trip out for supplies.
If you want to learn to scrapbook, fall and winter is a perfect time. When purchasing scrapbook materials look for acid and lignin free products. Products specifically designed for scrapbooking will help preserve your photos’ longevity. You no longer have to seek out a specialty scrapbook store to buy products. Scrapbooking materials are carried by large craft stores and superstores. There are also many direct marketing products available.
Digital photography is the easiest medium to store and organize. When you return home from a vacation (or at the end of the summer), upload your photos from your camera or memory card to your computer. Use only software program to organize all of your photos. Create clearly labeled folders to seperate the photos. For example, 4th of July, 2007, Maine. Once all the photos are safely stored on your computer, make sure you back them up via DVD, or an external hard drive. Take the time to delete any photos that you don’t want to keep so they don’t take up unnecessary space on your computer.
If learning to scrapbook is more than you have time for, consider creating “lazy albums” for your kids or other family members. When you order your photos, have extras created of at least one photo per event. This can be a group shot of all the people that attended, or something especially memorable from the event. Purchase albums or scrapbooks for these photos. Every time you have a set of photos developed, add your selected photo to the album. This creates an album that showcases all of life’s greatest events. These albums are great to give your kids when they leave for college. They are also great to give as gifts. If your child is creative and loves art projects, allow them to take part in creating a “lazy album”.
If organizing all of your photos is a daunting task, hire a professional organizer to assist you. Photos are often the only items we have left from life’s most important events. Keep them organized so that future generations can enjoy them!
Remember that your photos are sometimes the only item you have left after an event, vacation or visit! Take care of them so future generations may enjoy them, learn from them and hand them down through the generations.
Written by Bonnie Joy Dewkett
Bonnie Joy Dewkett is the owner of The Joyful Organizer, LLC. The Joyful Organizer LLC offers professional organization services to families in the greater Ridgefield area.