When I've posted about pictures and scrapbooks before, I've mentioned that part of what allowed me to get so behind in the 1st place was my perfectionist desire to keep up with the carefully cropped/decorated/embellished pages that I had a hard time finding time for even without kids. So I found that if I changed my approach a bit, the whole thing became much more do-able. But still, the pictures aren't magically putting themselves into albums with captions underneath.
In reality, even my pared down approach to scrapbooking is time consuming. And I'm kind of psychotic when it comes to saving photos, so even if I only pick a few from each month to put onto a pretty layout, I'm still left with several (or several hundred) photos that I'd like to save in a more basic chronological album.
So the developing envelopes and boxes just keep piling up.
Also, since I'm psychotic about photos, I've noticed some gaps in my prints here and there, and it gives me a mild panic attack. I know I took photos in August 2009- where are they???
But, I'm finally getting my act together.
The first part of it was the purchase of an external hard drive, so that rather than having photos stored on CDs, flash drives, and non-functioning laptops all over the house- all of my photos are in one place. ALL of them. Although, now that I type that, it makes me nervous- like I should have a back up of my backup...in addition to the physical prints and digital thumbnails I have saved to my printing site. See, I have a problem.
Problem or not, now that it's all in one place, I can easily track down the date of a homeless photo, or find out what exactly I took pictures of in August 2009.
The hard drive has been extremely helpful in making sure all of my photos actually get printed and chronologized correctly (I think I made up that word). But since I tend to wait for a big print sale- when I order the photos, they still come in stacks of envelopes, which end up in huge piles, until I lose track of when the photos were taken in the 1st place.
I've also fallen in love with a particular photo album (that costs $25-plus about $10 in extra insert pages)- so my printed photos are often homeless as I wait for the album to go on sale. My attempts at organization are thwarted by the lack of an album to actually put a photo into.
Enter the photo box, the beautiful photobox that only cost me $1.67. If I had known my problems could be solved this easily, I would have bought this box a year ago.
This box doesn't put my photos into albums or write captions for me- but it does store misc photos in chronological order without my needing to dig through unorganized piles every time I find a few minutes to sit and work on my albums. Putting photos in albums has been such a stop and start process for me, that I have all kinds of random gaps. I don't actually have 3 entire years of unorganized photos- I just have random months throughout the last 3 yrs that never made it into an albums. When I find a few spare minutes I end up wasting it all trying to figure out where I left off.
Hopefully now I can just grab and go without the wondering and searching. And it's pretty- so I don't mind keeping it on my shelf. I'm hoping that by keeping everything organized and accessible, I can just reach over and work on it for a few minutes here and there when my kids watch cartoons- rather than making it into an all day messy endeavor.