Each year January rolls around and all of a sudden I feel pressure to get organized. Time for a fresh attitude. Time to clean out closets, file papers and yes, tackle the “miscellaneous” box that keeps getting filled with items transferred from my “miscellaneous” drawer.
This year, I am determined to find a fun way to tackle these projects. Project #1: free my shoe box full of old (pre-digital) photos. The first set of pictures I recently found was from a trip my mom and I took to Italy back in 2000.
Then it hit me – I can scan these and make a photo book for my mom for Mother’s Day. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone. Organized AND forward thinking? I like the sound of that.
Although the thought of a scanning project can be overwhelming, you can actually do it yourself in just five easy steps. I am lucky enough to have access to a scanner at work, but most “all in one” printers have scanners now and they have nice resolution. Alternatively, you can use a scanning service like ScanCafe.
How to use a scanner:
- Clean the scanner. You can use a dry cloth or an electronic/lens wipe. Don’t forget to wipe the lid too. Any dust will distort your image.
- Lay the photo or items (I scanned maps and paper tickets too!) face down and make sure the edges of the photos are flush with the edge of the scanner. Just like you would for a photo copier.
- I use my scanner’s “auto mode” but you make sure to check the settings are set for at least 300 DPI, so you can print and enlarge scanned image.
- After you hit “scan”, you will get a preview of the image. If you don’t automatically see a preview, check your “my pictures” folder on your desk top.
- Upload your images to Shutterfly and you can edit red eye, crop and add effects.
I scanned 65 images in about 30 minutes, but time can vary depending on your scanner speed. I then used Shutterfly’s storyboard feature to put together the photo book. Voila, organized and ready for Mother’s Day in under an hour – 2010 is off to a great start!