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Part 2: Lose that Overwhelmed Feeling – Get Control of Your Pictures

Lose that Overwhelmed Feeling – Get Control of your Pictures in Three Simple Steps by Guest Expert Jiffy Page of Pixorium

So, you followed my advice in “Lose the Guilt and Save your Pictures in Three Simple Steps” blog post – you put your pictures from the boxes in the attic or basement in clean, clear zip-top bags, stacked them flat in the boxes then moved your boxes to an interior closet, away from water pipes. Voila’ – guilt gone!

But those pictures still bug you. So many – too many – in those boxes. You’re ready to roll up your sleeves and dig in, but what do you do??

Well, here are three simple steps to finally get control of all those pictures and lose that overwhelmed feeling for good:

  1. Make a sorting plan and place. Like any endeavor, the goal is reached one step at a time, so create a workable sorting schedule. Every Sunday evening for an hour? One Saturday afternoon a month? How will you sort them? You’ll need two sizes of clean, clear zip-top bags. Smaller zip-top bags work well for smaller groups of pictures; group smaller bags together in bigger bags. Write the topic of the photos on the outside of each bag – a Sharpie permanent marker works well. Smaller bags can hold photos from an event (say, a graduation) or a season (summer) and bigger bags can hold the bags for a year, or decade. (There are usually many fewer old photos, so grouping by decade is typically a good way to go.) Then decide – where will you sort them? Often the dining room table is a good choice – good height for sitting, standing and good space for moving around. And always put your project away, back in its safe place in the closet, when you’ve finished the session. 
  1. 2.     Be tough. In most cases, you have many more photos than you need to tell the story; not every picture is worth keeping. Put your hard-nosed editor hat on and choose the fewest number of the highest quality images to tell the story of that event. And yes, I encourage you to throw away photos. 😮 Also know the best picture may just be a blurry one, so keep it. But fight the urge to keep more than you need. It will be strong!
  1. 3.     Have fun and look for your “Big Daddy” picture. Have fun with this sorting process and expect it to take longer than you think it will. You’ll get caught up in the memories, I promise. Are you an introvert? Then “fun” for you may be simply going through and sorting your pictures for your allotted time. Are you an extrovert? Then “fun” for you may be taking advantage of a family gathering (Thanksgiving or around an event like an anniversary or summer vacation) to have a group join you in the sorting process. Either way, have fun with it. The memories relived through the process can be priceless. And, always be on the lookout for your “Big Daddy” photo. Don’t know what I mean? This blog post will explain: http://www.pixorium.com/blog-article/items/this-is-big-daddy.html.

There you go –  the steps seem doable? Feeling less overwhelmed? Even, perhaps, a bit of control?

I hope so!

The next step is to share these pictures and the stories they tell, especially any “Big Daddy” photos you find. Don’t worry about that step yet, though. First things first, as they say.

Make a plan, be tough and have fun!

Jiffy Page, Pixorium

Jiffy Page, Pixorium

About Pixorium:  Your pictures tell the story of your life.  Your ancestors, your childhood, your children and grandchildren. From the family trips to the triumphs great and small. These memories deserve more than a shoe box in a closet. We’ll show you many ways to protect and share them, ensuring your lifetime of stories will be told for lifetimes to come.  Founded in 2006,  Atlanta’sPixorium has become a place to preserve, protect and share your family pix and stories. To learn more, please visit http://www.pixorium.com or contact Jiffy Page at 404.680.5341.