My friend Jackie and I were talking and she said I should blog about how I stay so organized. I actually never feel organized. I always feel like my life/schedule/house/car/purse/etc are a mess and completely chaotic. When it comes to bills, birthdays, errands, mail, keeping an uncluttered house (clean - yes, but uncluttered - no), I am a true mess. But, there are a handful of things I'm great at organizing and staying on top of - one being all the photos that I take. I think that's actually how Jackie and I got on the subject of staying organized.
As you know, I'm not a gifted photographer but I am great about bringing my camera, taking lots and lots of pictures, and making sure they find their way to photo albums rather than just being images on the computer or ending up in shoe boxes. Here are my tricks...
- I load up on the faux leather photo albums from Target. They have a few different versions and I buy up all three (2-up, 3-up, three ring binder style) when they're in stock. If you take lots of photos, these are a great way to store them without breaking the bank.
- Every time I come home from an event or trip, I download all the photos we took. I quickly pull the best ones and upload them to Kodak Gallery (or use Shutterfly, Flickr, whatever you like.). I keep an eye out for emails from Kodak offering the best coupons (10 cents per print, free shipping, etc) and every three or four months, when I see a great coupon, I submit my order.
- Once they arrive, I try to get them in order sooner than later. The longer you leave photos in a drawer somewhere, the less likely you are to do anything with them. I try to organize while sitting in bed watching my trashy reality TV (Real Housewives anyone?).
- Then I sucker my mom or a babysitter into helping me stuff the photos into the Target albums. Whenever we have a college babysitter watch my daughter at night, they are more than happy to help with my albums while watching TV. Have a date night AND get a project completed? Done! Don't be afraid to ask for this type of help if your children nap or will be in bed.
- If I really had it in me I would love to go through and write comments in the margins about who is in each photo, the date, and where it was taken but I think I have far too many albums now to ever tackle that. If you're just getting started though, I would add that step so in 50 years you know the details of the photo.
So there's my two cents on staying on top of your photos. My theory is that if you stay on top of it, it's manageable. Once you let the photos stack up too much, it will haunt you and you'll never get it done. Keep in mind that I only have one child and I know life will be all the crazier once the second one arrives. Ask me again in a year if I'm still "on top of my albums" and I'm sure we'll get a good laugh.