26 February 2009

Getting Control

There is a MASSIVE project underway at our house. It involves boxes of photos, old negatives, years of unprinted digital images, and a looming deadline (high school graduation in May, 2010). Can anyone relate? Many scrapbookers find themselves in this kind of predicament. It is, quite frankly, overwhelming.

I recently decided that if I am ever going to get on top of this mountain of scrapbooking, I needed a plan. I knew the scope was "big" but that is too vague a term for me. So when I saw Becky Higgins' chart of layouts to make (see it here), I decided that some sort of chart would be one component of my plan. More on that in a bit.

The first thing I tackled was the boxes of old photos tucked away in a closet. I thought they were in fairly decent order, but when I dug into them, I realized that wasn't the case. In fact, there was an entire box of undated photos that had been pulled out and never returned to their correct spot. After years of digging through the boxes for school projects, photos were in quite a disarray. I could not possibly tell which layouts needed to be created with this kind of mess.

So I created my own version of Becky's chart and dug into the boxes. I put photos back in their correct spots, identified layouts I might want to make, and started creating lists.

As I wrote down the various events and topics represented in the photos, I could easily see which ones would be the most important to scrapbook, combine with other photos, leave in the box, or make into mini-albums. I now have a good idea of what I need to complete for each year.

I had already started a binder for old negatives, and as I went through the boxes, I added more negatives to the sleeves. I use Cropper Hopper Negative Sleeves, labeled with the month and year so I can retrieve a negative if needed. Once I'm done with this binder, I'll store it at my husband's office. It's a good idea to store negatives at another place in the event of a fire.

Of course, we're digital now, so I no longer have to deal with negatives. But I have another issue with current photos: I'm a good two years behind in printing. Now THAT is a daunting problem.

So I purchased a pre-paid 10 cent/print package on Shutterfly and started editing, uploading, and placing orders, beginning with January 2009 photos.
And as soon as I received my first order of photos, I started scrapbooking them. I've made several layouts already with just a couple more to go before I receive my next batch of photos.

I hope that this process will enable me to get on top of what was previously a looming, but undefined, challenge. I now understand how many and what kinds of layouts I need to make. Looking at the fun topics to be scrapbooked (pre-school, zoo, first steps, vacations...) actually makes me look forward to jumping into those boxes. For me, defining the problem is a critical first step in solving it.

In addition, I now have a process which will enable me to print my backlog of digital images and keep up with more current scrapbooking. I'm feeling confident now that with ongoing planning and persistence, I CAN meet this challenge ahead of the big deadline!


denali said...

I am in AWE.

Seriously. That kind of organization almost scares me.

Yer kewl :)

Janet said...

Hey, you're sweet, but do not be in awe yet! Let's see if I can produce pages first! lol :-)

Heather said...

Wow! That is one HUGE project, but kudos to you for tackling it!!! You're going to feel awesome when it's complete! :)

Hey...on another matter, would you mind sending me a quick e-mail to hsk1977@mac.com? I wanted to send a private message but couldn't find your e-mail anywhere on here. Thanks!

Debbie said...

Wow you have accomplished a lot already. Just the organizing is a huge task, how long did it take?

Lida said...

I´m in shock at how organized that looks, I don´t have that many pictures but I´m going to start now wow that is one huge project, so awesome you are doing it!

KarenSue said...

lucky for me dd graduated before I got into 'true' scrapbooking,
so the album I created for her just had one picture per year on a black background with a sheet of paper that journaled some highlights behind it.

but looking forward to seeing your layouts!

denali said...

Janet, you've already produced enough pages to blow me away and you're only getting started! The concept of actually creating an organized plan? YOWSA.

Yup, scary! *LOL*

Linda said...

You are so organized. I really need to do something like that with what I have too. I'm also bad about printing the digi photos, I think I am about 5 months behind, not too bad if I take care of it soon.

Janet said...

You guys are sweet but you are giving me WAY too much credit here! This is a system borne out of desperation!!! lol And believe me, I'm not done yet. I've gone through maybe 3 boxes of photos and that took several hours over one weekend. That's not so bad...What's really overwhelming is editing and ordering 2 years worth of digital photos. UGH! Word of advice: DO NOT get this far behind! :-)

Me.. said...

Janet, this would be the perfect class!! I had a customer who is in the same "situation" and asked what I would suggest that she do...I know of loads of people that won't or don't scrap, what they want to, because they are so overwhelmed by the number of photos they have...great class in the making!! Good luck with your organization...Katie

toners said...

I am IMPRESSED!!! You're making the rest of us look bad.... :)

Cheri said...

You are taking control in more than one area lately! Kudos to you.

Kristina said...

Good for you! I'm lucky in the fact that I started scrapbooking when Connor was born and I took some time during my 5 month maternity leave and organized all of our photos that were taken before he was born and they are safely in "cold storage" for future use. I've just made it a point of keeping photos after Connor was born organized.