It's the end of another month so that means it's time for the Organizing Junkie's monthly round-up. This month we're organizing pictures and keepsakes, so I'm going to share my system for organizing all that stuff.
First of all, my dirty little secret lies in these two boxes. These are my Power Sort boxes and each of them is capable of holding 2,400 photos . . . and they're dang near full which means I have close to 4,800 photos in these innocent looking boxes.
Here's the first one and it's full of my mom's photos that I rescued and organized. My Mama Llama is hopelessly disorganized and it makes me crazy. She keeps asking me about them . . . "Jill, are you EVER going to do anything with my pictures?" No Mom, NE-VER.
I will though. It's part of my plan. The problem is that my plan, otherwise known as my TO DO LIST, has 18,267 other things on it as well.
This box is the back log of my life with Peanut Head before kids. I've been pretty good about staying on top of the photos since the monsters came along.
This is one of the 12 compartments from my Power Sort box. Each compartment holds 200 pictures up to 5x7 inches. I love these little compartments. They're genius. Before I had the Power Sort boxes, I had lots of the cute little photo storage boxes than you can pick up just about anywhere, but my pictures were always sliding underneath each other and getting mixed up after I organized them.
The Power Sort compartments keep the pictures contained and there isn't enough room for the pictures to slide down underneath each other. The other neat thing about them is that you can take one compartment with you if you're going to crop away from home, put a lid on it, and you're only taking the pictures you need instead of all of them.
The other cool feature is the straps on either side of the Power Sort box which keeps the lid secured to the box. I have dropped my Power Sort box before, you know I have, and the lid stayed on and all my pictures stayed put and organized. I can't say the same about my old picture organizing boxes. They were pretty though.
Here's my Power Sort Mini box. I use this one for the current albums I'm working on, and it has three compartments so it will hold 600 photos. I keep my bigger Power Sorts out of sight so they don't stress me out and cause me to think about my freakish backlog.
This is my File Mate. It's just an accordian type file, and it's where I keep things that are larger than 5x7 inches. If I put something in here, I make an index card with it's description and I file it in the Power Sort box with the corresponding picture(s) it belongs with to remind me to go and grab that item when I get to it. Someday.
Ideally, someday all my pictures will be in albums like this and I'll be caught up. I have two ongoing albums for each of my girls.
One of these is their school albums.
This is where I keep school pictures, class pictures, the first day of school, special happenings, awards, pictures of artwork, and handwriting samples.
I keep very little of my kids' artwork. They put it on their magnetic memo boards when they bring it home, and at the end of the month I take it all down and take pictures of it for their school albums. Then I get to throw it away without guilt.
The other album that I keep ongoing is a birthday album for each child.
In this album, I keep their birthday portraits from each year so I have a fun place to compare their changes from year to year. I also keep an ongoing record of their height and weight.
This album is also where all the pictures of their birthday parties go. I don't keep those pictures in the family album.
Here are all my completed traditional albums. I have a lot and they take up a lot of room. This is one of the reasons that I have moved to digital albums for our family album. At the end of each year, I have the family album/blog book printed and bound in a much skinnier book than one of these albums. If you want to see that, go here.
Finally, at the beginning of every year Peanut Head burns all of the previous year's pictures onto a CD and we keep it stored in a binder in our safe. Which reminds me, we haven't done last year yet. I guess we'd better get on that.
I hope I've given you some ideas for organizing and storing your own pictures. For more ideas, go to the Organizing Junkie.