Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, Organizing galore!

I have always had this fascination with being organized! In fact, it has been something I have loved all my life. In 7th grade, I did a speech in a class all about organizing clutter. (REALLY, what 7th grader really cares about that!)

With the new year 2012, it seems like my goals continue to improve with organization. I am no perfect at it by any means, and have lots of room for improvement ... but the idea behind organization isn't really perfection, it is just doing a few things one day at a time to relieve stress! That is really what it does! Organization creates freedom!

Recently I found an awesome calendar on Pinterest that was much too awesome not to share with you today. It is a calendar for the entire year that gives you simple steps each day to de-clutter in 2012!! I have printed it out and can't wait to get started. Click here to download and print calendar as well as check out the awesome website the Although there are a few things that don't relate to me, I figure 99% of it does, and it is something to keep me going each day.

The next thing I have been working on this week is wrapping up organizing my 2011 pictures, getting ready to make my year end photobook, putting all the pictures in my planner ... and trying to start out the new year right. In June of last year I did a post on the Crafting Chicks blog all about photo organization. I never posted it on my own blog, so I figured it would be a great time to share it with all my blog readers! Happy Organizing to all of you!

First, this post is for scrapbookers, and non scrapbookers. It is for anyone who takes photos and wants to preserve their memories!

I am sure many of you are a lot like me ... you have boxes and boxes of photos, files upon files of digital photos, yet when it comes to remembering when each photo was taken, we all get a little bit on amnesia. It is easier to let the photos sit on your computer, or collect dust in your basement right?

Today I hope to show you a way to at least organize your photos, and then hopefully inspire you to take the plunge and store them yourself. I also want to encourage you to find a way to enjoy the photos too!

My biggest fear is to loose my digital photos. I am a visual person, and can spark a memory by just looking at a picture. (I guess that is why I take thousands a year!) It is very important to back them up, so that if I ever have computer troubles, I won’t loose them. Let me introduce you to a dear friend:

Mr. External Hard Drive!
You can by External hard drives really anywhere ... Costco is where I got mine. It is 1 Terabyte. You can also find them here on Amazon. They run about $100.

Now you might say, that you don’t really want to spend the money, but trust me ... you won’t regret it! It is a lot cheaper than hiring someone to try and get photos off of a fried computer. Often times, computer experts will recommend that you purchase two hard-drives, just incase the one fails, however I haven’t gotten that far yet!

My computer told me the other day, that I had way too much stuff on it, and I couldn’t save anymore! (Can you blame it when I have close to 13,000 pictures on it!) So I decided to transfer them all to the hard drive. Then I started to get nervous and I slowly started to delete them off my computer. I tried to take them and upload them to a photo browser like Shutterfly or Costco, but it was taking HOURS. I felt like I really needed to make sure I had a second back up, and I needed a faster way!

Rather than spending another $100 to buy another hard-drive, I spent about $20, and I went and bought me some printable DVD’s. I have really had such a great time organizing the last couple of years of my life. Here is how i chose to do it:

First: Organized my photos into years by creating a folder for each year.
Second: Split each year into seasons (spring, summer, winter, fall)
Third: Split each season into individual activities / holidays. (lagoon, fourth of july, etc.)
Fourth: Now that they are organized, I decided to add the photos that are on all those floating disks. These could be disks others have given to me, along with disks from photoshoots, etc. This will be a back-up incase one of your disks get ruined.
Fifth: I saved all the individual seasons onto a DVD. (So for every year I have a Beginning Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter end disk). The reason I say a DVD, is because it has a lot more space on it than a CD. Many people would argue whether or not to get “gold” disks, or other types of disks that claim to be more archival ... I personally didn’t spend the money, because these are just a “back-up” of what is already on your hard drive!

Sixth: Mark the disks - This was my favorite part. I have this printer:It will print on your disks, rather than just a sticker! Aren’t the photos just fun? For time sake, and organization sake, invest in a good cd marker and be on your way!

Seventh: Get some really inexpensive boxes from Ikea to store them in.
Eighth: Create Tabs. File the 5 disks, along with the “loose disks” from each year behind each disk. I like to color coordinate mine.
Nineth: Find your favorite photos from each Season. It will be impossible to scrapbook every photo, and will cost you hundreds of dollars if you end up printing them all. So create a folder on your desktop and copy your favorites into that folder. NOW, this might take some time, but if you do a little each day, you will be pleased with the time spent.

Tenth: Create a photobook. As much as I love to scrapbook, using darling paper, fun embellishments, and have full access to creativity, I also am realistic. Here are my reasons for a photobook for recording your year:
Cost effective.
Easy to print one for each of your kids. They will have a small library when they leave home.
You won’t have to add a room onto your house for the 4” heavy Albums ... instead maybe just a small shelf.
There are endless possibilities, sizes and programs! For the studio 5 segment I did on Photo books click here!

I mainly create my photobooks as a journal and history of my family that year.

So you might ask, so when do you scrapbook your photos? Well, I like to create mini albums of events, vacations, or special themes. I also have created a special one for both of my cute boys of their first year!
In conclusion (lots of information to process, I KNOW), but my reasoning for doing organizing my photos in this way is to make sure I can organize my family memories, so I can remember them, and most importantly to create a back-up of my photos.


Kirsten Krason said...

Oh my gosh you are amazing. I got a portable hard drive for Christmas and it was super scary to delete all my pictures! But sorta nice at the same time :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your CD box! Now, take that beautiful box of DVDs you created and store it somewhere other than your house (your desk at work, the home of a family or friend, safe deposit box, etc.)! That way, if you have a disaster at home or you are robbed, you will still have your precious photos! I have 2 hard drives and one crashed last year. I would have been heartbroken if I had lost all my photos!

Lori said...

I am in the process of organizing photos - my computer files look the same. But I've been backing up to Shutterfly and Walmart since my son was born in 2008. I keep a check list so I know which files are done and I slightly adjust the folder name so I can visually see it has been completed. Ex: June 2008 SF (means the files has been uploaded to Shutterfly). I try to upload once a month so I don't get too far behind. Because we have switched computers 3 time in 3 years is where my problems have come in. I'm trying to make sure my brand new, huge storage space computer has all the photos and then I can finally back-up to my external hard drive and then - oh I can't believe I'm saying this - delete them from the computer!

Meg Giroux said...

Thanks for all the great tips! I need to sit down and organize like this. All my stuff is on a hard drive but you are super organized! I am so envious!

I added myself to your followers, I will be back for more inspiration, thank you!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! Thank you for this.....I have been so scared and trying to figure out how to do this :) Yay! Also, still working on the Vacation Subway Art.....someday maybe I'll finish it :) lol Thanks again I'm organizing my file folders as we speak :)ps....most excited to make the CD labels!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! Thank you for this.....I have been so scared and trying to figure out how to do this :) Yay! Also, still working on the Vacation Subway Art.....someday maybe I'll finish it :) lol Thanks again I'm organizing my file folders as we speak :)ps....most excited to make the CD labels!

Anonymous said...

As I was reading this, I was saying "check, check, check"...I already do *many* of these, including doing photobooks (I give them as gifts on Mother's Day too) and saving scrapbooking for "project" albums. Maybe it's because I was a photographer prior to scrapbooking. I guess the exception is that my speech way back when was on horses. ;)

Kindt Family said...

This is a really cool way to organize, but honestly it was a lot of work to do on regular discs that will only last about 5 years. I learned that lesson the hard way. I did the first few years of our marriage/baby this way, super organized & in a fire-proof safe. Then I learned how burned information only lasts on regular discs for around 5 years (sometimes less), and you need to get the gold discs. I ran and checked all my old discs & they were RIGHT- NONE of them worked! All the info was gone! I was crushed!!! Everything since then goes on gold discs. Especially when it takes so much work to organize them this way!

Anonymous said...

To back up photos you need to have them in 2 locations., by putting them on DVDs and then deleting them from your hard drive you just moved them, They are not backed up. Backing up is supposed to be redundant. 2 copies or more. External hard drive and DVDs would work. as it's 2 copies. But burning them on to the DVDs and deleting them from your hard drive is not a back up. What if those DVDs fail? To me pictures and the memories they preserve is way too imporatant to risk losing. More than one copy!