Organizing tips from a disorganized individual

by Kristin S Posted on July 04, 2010

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Here’s a tip for all of us organizationally-challenged individuals. Those of you with everything in it’s place – read no further!

Before I became “organized” (at least as far as my pictures are concerned!) I had pictures everywhere (hard copies and online). Here, there, everywhere, with little to no organization. A mere three and a half years ago (early 2007), I started to organize and catalog my pictures by making photo books.

I want to say I did this all on my own, but it’s not the truth. I contribute my one-time organizational genius to the nesting instinct during my pregnancy. Well, however it happened, for once, my attempts at organizing actually worked!! So I thought I would provide you with some tips so that you too can organize your pictures and bring a little bit of clutter-free living into your world!

Since I had to go back in time picking 2001 as my start date (the year my first child was born), I organized the pictures starting with the year and the event – for example “2001 Payton’s Birth”. For any miscellaneous pictures in that year I made a folder titled “2001 Misc”. I did this for each year until I had folder upon folder organized by year. That made it very easy to go back and do my year in review photo books. It also helped when planning out my time line as I could easily peruse the folders by year and then by event. One of my shining accomplishments, I must say!  Now if I can only apply my picture organizational principles to my office….


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  1. Earl J Says:

    I’ve organized my photos much as you have — first by year taken and then by subject or country or what helps me remember what the pictures are about. I use Picasa and that free software makes it so easy to scroll through my photos as organized, by year in my case.

  2. angelakirsten Says:

    All of these tips are great, but don’t forget to BACK UP all of your hard work. It’s great to back up on sites like Shutterfly, that way if you have a fire, flood, hurricane etc, your photos will all be safe and sound and you can concentrate on getting your family out alive and not on looking for photo’s etc.

  3. Joey Says:

    Great tips Kristin. I seem to organize mine by date that they were taken; which still results in lots of pictures. Like with Earl, I too, use Picasa and its so easy to keep photos organized by date, plus they are easy to find. I like the idea of making sure to back up photos. I have most of mine on my external hard drive. I heard those may not be the safest either. The majority are on Shutterfly.
    Thanks for this article. I will have to apply some of these to my photos.

  4. AnnAbbott Says:

    Thanks Kristin! My “way” of keeping the pics in order goes like this… year then season and topic in season if there is a major event/vacation/or day I took way to many picture to cram in on folder. Example… Winter 2010…. Spring 2010 …Spring Disneyland trip 2010…ect. Then back up in three places…hard drive…external drive and Shutterfly!

  5. crazybabydaisy Says:

    Hi Kristin – Thanks for the tips – do you throw away your paper photos after making the books? Any other brainchilds? Thanks!

  6. angies5 Says:

    Oh how I need to follow your lead on this. Things get SO out of hand on my hard drive with photos. Great ideas!

more about Kristin S

I started my first photo book when I was pregnant with my third child... the pictures were getting overwhelming and my disorganization would wake me up at night! My mother is a photographer and her pictures are outstanding... I needed to be able to display them appropriately but was not into scrapbooking. I worked my way back in time creating "yearly review" books, birthday books and holiday books all the way back to 2001 (the year my first was born!). I am up to date and the envy of all my friends... all thanks to shutterfly's 8X8 photo books (and mom's pictures of course!)... they were truly life changing and I believe I have saved myself a few wrinkly worry lines! :)

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