I had some time set aside yesterday to work on my album conversion process and made really good progress! My goals in starting this project are listed below for my own frequent reference, so I remember why the heck I'm putting myself through this:
** All photos in this house need to be in some type of album, not unmarked in a box.
** OK, I'll accept photos in a box if they're in some semblance of order.
** And duplicate photos which have already been scrapbooked shall be recycled.
** Furthermore, boxes of memorabilia saved for the scrapbooks shall actually be put in the scrapbooks.
** The multiple boxes of school papers hidden in the basement shall be dealt with at a later time (should I survive this project!) and reduced into their own binders.
** The myriad cat layouts shall be incorporated into the chronological scrapbooks.
To accomplish these goals, I am converting my chronological post-bound albums to 3-ring binders. Binders Make All Such Things Possible!
My random-but-not-random starting point is 2001, which is the oldest album I converted. After more sorting and double-checking, I finally cleared out the entire photo box. This was cause for celebration! I ran to Starbucks for a latte because I knew it was going to be a late but productive evening.
I set aside a few photos that need to be scrapbooked in one form or another and thought I was ready to tackle those pesky memorabilia files.
But then a very scary question came to mind -- and I'm sure it's one that many of my fellow scrapbookers know well...
ARE THERE MORE PHOTOS SOMEWHERE ELSE?
When I stopped to think about it, I knew the answer to that question, but I had buried it deep in that murky part of my mind which contains Things I Don't Want to Think About.
So I ventured upstairs and confirmed my fears...YIKES!
There was the box, in all of its unsorted glory. I know this well and say it often: Before you can scrapbook confidently, you have to have your photos in order and accessible!
"How did this happen?", you may (or may not) be asking. Well, I'll tell you. Photo organization has always been important to me. My printed photos are kept in small boxes and indexed with dates and events.
But things went awry a few years back when I brought home massive amounts of unorganized photos from my parents' house. Some of those photos were duplicates of my own photos, and others were pictures my mom took. A few years later, I brought home another large load of photos from my grandma's house, further exacerbating the problem. Long story short: Those extra photos never made it to my organization system. I vaguely remember starting to work on it but giving up in discouragement.
So I made myself a pile of index cards with All The Dates and began sorting. Not how I planned to spend the evening but hey, it needed to be done. I turned on the TV and got to work.
I got no help from my helper who was busy tending to her personal hygiene!
Two basketball games later, I finally made it through the entire box, setting aside a good chunk of photos with no dates, and felt pretty good about my accomplishment.
Look at these nicely organized photos! I did a brief happy dance...
but then the question came to mind again:
ARE THERE MORE PHOTOS SOMEWHERE ELSE?
And unfortunately, the answer was yes! OH, NO!!! There was indeed another box, partially filled with unsorted photos from the time periods I'll be working on.
So the photo sorting continued way into the night. My latte was gone and my helper had bathed all possible body parts.
I eventually made it through all of those photos but I now have a very big box of undated photos that still must be sorted. The takeaway lesson here is if you're printing photos, put the date on the back!
And the other takeaway lesson is this: HAVE ONE ORGANIZATION SYSTEM. If you choose to sort photos chronologically, then pull them all together to do so. If you separate photos by subject, make sure you have all of your subject photos in one place.
I'm reminding myself that while daunting, this is just small detour and taking care of this Bad Photo Situation now will help me throughout the rest of the process. My helper and I shall not be deterred in getting all of this under control!