Sunday, March 4, 2007

Organizing Your Photos...or NOT!

Most scrapbooking books, articles, and experts will tell you to start scrapbooking by organizing your photos. They'll suggest you drag out every cotton-picking photo you own, label and date them. Then they want you to put it in some sort of order. Finally, they suggest you scrapbook those pictures chronologically.

Okay. Like that's really going to happen in this lifetime.

Call me contrary. Go ahead. You may be a better woman than I. (The line forms in the rear.)

I'd love to have all my photos organized by date. But it ain't going to happen, folks. I have photos I've inherited, photos from my childhood, photos from my sisters, photos from friends...are you beginning to see the problem? I have 22 photo boxes of photos. I also own three moving boxes of memorabilia. Not to mention albums from my prescrapbooking days and more than 100 new photos on my camera.

A wise woman would organize those photos. However, the sheer size of the project makes me so tired I want to lie down.

So here's my solution: I organize what I can. BUT...I put a time limit on it. Say, I'll organize for an hour. (All right. Fifteen minutes.) Then I'll pull out a handful of photos that call to me to be put on a page.

Here are the benefits:

1. I can get enthused about my hobby. As I make pages, I feel I am getting somewhere. The creative juices start flowing.

2. Organization occurs organically. As I pull photos, I also notice photos I can toss, photos that go with other photos, and photos I can put aside to work on next. Which leads me to #3.

3. As I pull the photos I want to scrapbook RIGHT NOW, I set aside groups of photos to work on at some other time. These I put together in a page protector. Now I am ready to work on them the next time I sit down.

Oh, I honestly wish I was a person with organized photos. I almost was. I had 90% of my photos in photo boxes, labeled and categorized. Then we moved to England for a year. I took photos with me to work on. That messed up my whole system. And you can imagine how many pictures I took while I was there!

So, I could wait until the day I get everything organized. Or I could take a long nap. Or I could continue to live an exciting life and take photos along the way.

Three guesses as to the choice I've made!

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