Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scrapbooking — Picture Sorting And Organization

Organizing Blog

I should probably start off by telling you that I'm one of the last two people in the entire world that still hasn't gone digital with their pictures. We purchased a nice 35mm Minolta back in 1999 when our little Kodak broke, and since then we've purchased a couple of extra lenses and an add-on flash for longer distances. For a long time we were dragging our feet because the picture quality wasn't as good, but now the digital cameras take fantastic pictures. It's just a matter of time, so we need to save up.

In the meantime, we did have an inexpensive digital camera with a memory card that holds something like sixteen pictures for when we absolutely needed one. But then one of the girls got a camera for her birthday and the other one for Christmas (same camera, different color), and those little cameras are great! I've been borrowing them right and left for everything. They even take little movies.

Here is a portion of one of the two scrapbooking storage cubbies in my scrapbooking area.

The first long brown box includes developed photographs still in their original store envelopes.

Right underneath that are more packages of pictures that haven't been sorted.

The second long brown box contains primarily photos that I have already gone through and sorted. It's the overflow for three of the kids that don't fit in large black lidded boxes I have.

You might wonder how I could let that many pictures stay in their envelopes for that long, but honestly, it's just as easy for me to sort out 50 (or more!) envelopes of pictures as it is to sort out 10 envelopes. Plus, if I'm not ready to put the pictures in albums yet, and I am seriously far behind right now, then why be in a rush. That way they have dates on the packages and stay in something of an order.

When I do get ready, here's how I sort them:

  • With four kids, I always get double prints. I have five piles, one for family and a pile for each of the four kids, in age order.

  • If I have a picture that I want to go in the family book, it goes in that stack. If I want it to go in all four kids books also, the double goes in Chatty's pile. Then I put a note on my negative storage envelope that I need three copies of whatever the negative number is for the kids' books. Since I've put three and I got doubles, when I get the reprints back I know all those go in Sparky, Buddy, and Caboose's picture piles.

  • On the other hand, if it's a picture of say, Buddy and Caboose, and I've gotten one reprint, I know the duplicate goes in Caboose's pile when I get it back. The two originals went in the family and Buddy's stack, since he is the older of the two.

  • If I know I will not remember when the reprints come back which stack a picture will go in, meaning that it doesn't follow the normal pattern, I put the person's first initial(s) in parenthesis next to the number of copies. Since the girls have the same first initial, I have a cheat with them, but I can't tell you without telling you their names.

  • I often take multiple shots of the same thing, so I don't have to get tons of reprints. I'm able to use the duplicates to spread out among the books most of the time.

  • And just in case you were wondering, I do family scrapbooks plus books for all four kids. I want them to have books to take with them and enjoy, and I want books at home to enjoy when they leave home, although little did I know when I started that Caboose plans to live with us forever. Plus I didn't want one set of books they all fought over when we died, assuming they would care.

I have two large Power Sort boxes by Creative Memories. I have pictures divided by Kayren growing up, married/college years, married/before kids, military trips, etc. Then I have family pictures that are sorted waiting to go in the family book (I am stuck back at May, 2002) and kids pictures that are sorted and waiting to go in their books (I'm farther along in their books).

They do all have white tabbed labels. I had to hide a few where the names showed.

Here is where they go on the other large cubbie shelf. They are heavy so they live at the bottom.

Those smaller black boxes above hold negatives, because I still go back and have reprints done. They are labeled — it's just to fit on the shelf and get them out easily I put them sideways and the labels aren't showing. Same with the big boxes and the green and cream cardboard boxes you see in the other two cubbies (they hold memorabilia that might go in the scrapbooks from trips and events, birthday cards, etc.).

On one of the top shelves I keep some three-ring binders. The second one doesn't have a label, but it's my stuff.

I use page protectors to keep things organized, sorted, and protected until I am ready to use them. This is a sample from the first binder, the sports pics and portraits binder.

I have so many sports pictures from my kids' teams and I needed a good way to keep them contained and from getting damaged. That's when I came up with this idea. We don't hang these up anywhere in our house, but I wanted to put them in their albums.

These are a few samples from the second binder, the unlabeled one. I just have little post-it notes stuck on the front of each page protector.

I use a couple of different things for my kids' items, other than those cardboard boxes you saw. Like I mentioned, those are kind of like a 'holding' tank. I go through those and sort them into these accordion files by year for each child.

When I am getting a group of pages ready for one of the kid's scrapbooks, I pull out the accordion file and find whatever memorabilia goes along with it.

I'm having to be really careful with my pictures because I have the kids' names plastered everywhere on these with labels.

It's really all a simple system, but I'm not sure that I was able to get that across with words. I talk with my hands, and I can't do that here! It also doesn't bother me that I have unsorted pictures, only because I know they are all in one place and the store envelopes are in order. I was able to do very little scrapbooking the last two years in our small military quarters, so now that we are settled I'm hoping to get tons knocked out fast.

And since I have an entire area pretty much dedicated just for that, Hubby might not be so happy if I don't.

This post is linked to The Organizing Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up.

You might also be interested in reading:

Organization — Scrapbooking Room
Memorabilia...To Keep Or Not To Keep?


Snow White said...

wow - you are super organized! When you do make the switch the shutterfly books are super easy -- your oldest kids would even have fun making their own :)

I love the accordion files for school stuff -- great idea.

Bonnie said...

You are a genius ! I loved this post. Seriously, looooooved it !!

Rochelle said...

You amaze me. I need to borrow you over at my house! :)

Betsy said...

Please come to my house. There are projects galor just calling your name. I don't hear them calling mine, only yours! ha-ha!

Controlling My Chaos said...

For someone who talks with their hands, you did a pretty good job showing us your system with pictures and words. You look pretty dang organized to me. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by our blog. Looks like you have a lot of stuff that you have organized already. I guess keeping on top of things help. There are pros and cons to digital.

Beth said...

Wow! You need to come LIVE in my house! You are certainly gifted with the organization gene & I got COMPLETELY skipped over in that department. How do you find the time?

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