If you’re overwhelmed with family photos, you’re not alone. This article offers a practical, inexpensive solution so you can both enjoy your photos now and leave a meaningful collection for future generations.
Back in the early 1990s all I really had to worry about were my boxes and boxes of printed photos. We still had a VCR and a video camera. We didn’t own a slide projector, but my parents and other friends did. We didn’t have digital cameras or smart phones or any of the other media formats of today.
I started scrapbooking when my daughter was 4 years old, but I found it very difficult to make the time to work on my albums at home. Fortunately, my Creative Memories Consultant held workshops in her home. I would pack up my album, my photos and my tools and take them to her house for several hours of concentrated work and community with other family photo keepers. I was always so proud of what I got done at the workshops and couldn’t wait to show my husband and daughter when I returned home.
I quickly realized that the only way I was going to make progress on my family photos was to make a commitment to work that involved someone else. As much as I loved working on them, and as important I knew the work to be, I just could not manage to do the work by myself at home.
Does this sound like you at all? There are probably many reasons you haven’t gotten around to (or finished up) modernizing and preserving your family photos and memories yet. See if any of these sound familiar.
REASONS WE ARE OVERWHELMED WITH FAMILY PHOTOS
ORGANIZING FAMILY PHOTOS IS A HUGE PROJECT
If you are over 40 you likely have photo memories in many different formats:
- Printed photos
- Film reels
You may also have digital photos on:
- SD cards
- floppy disks
I get it. With photo memories in all these formats it’s difficult to know where to find them all, to know where to start, to know what to do next. However, that doesn’t mean the project is insurmountable. It just means the project needs to be broken into smaller subprojects and tasks that can be done in shorter periods of time. Here’s an article that can help you do just that.
WE’RE TOO BUSY
We are busy people with busy lives. There is no doubt about that. But when it comes down to it, we do the activities that are important to do. We eat and sleep every day. We feed the dog. We go to the dentist. We pay our bills.
If it’s important to get it done, we’ll find a way to get it done. And if your family photos are important to you, you must find a way to get them into your schedule.
It doesn’t matter if it’s once a day, week, month or quarter. I completed my wedding album in 15-minutes a day over several months. It did require some pre-planning, but it worked for me at the time. What matters is that you choose when you’re going to do it, how long you’re going to do it for, and … you do it. Just like everything else in your life that is important to you.
And, if it helps, remember why you took the photos in the first place. You didn’t take them to keep them in boxes in the closet for the rest of your life. You didn’t take them so that one day you’d be overwhelmed. You took them to remember precious moments, loved ones, exciting adventures. You took them because you cared. You still care, right? It’s time to make them a priority.
I’LL GET TO THEM SOMEDAY (OR IT’S NOT A PRIORITY RIGHT NOW)
This is, of course, tied in with being too busy. If this is really, really really true, then I have a challenge for you: Pick a date. Don’t just say “someday,” pick a date. Put it on the calendar. If it’s not this year, put it on December 31st so that when you are setting up next year’s calendar you can pick a new date. Keep it top of mind. Don’t keep conveniently forgetting about it. It’s too important.
Remember that every day you delay gives you less time to work on it – the road ahead for many of us is shorter than the road behind. And that certainly is true for older relatives who could fill in missing information you may need. So choose a date to get started.
In addition, much has been written about how our kids don’t want our “stuff” (which is why it needs to be turned into a curated and meaningful collection they would love to have).
So pick a date. And sooner is better than later.
HERE’S HOW TO FIX THE OVERWHELM
I hope I have convinced you that it’s important to take action on your family photos now, if at all possible. And I have a way to do that which is inexpensive, only happens once a month, and involves the crucial elements of commitment as well as community.
I offer monthly Family Photo Keeper Workshops on Zoom, so you can attend from the comfort of your own home. Past attendees have worked on the following types of tasks:
- Sorting, culling and organizing printed photos
- Sorting, culling and organizing digital photos
- Scanning photos and documents
- Creating photo books
- Gathering and/or cataloging outdated media for digital conversion
NICE THINGS PAST ATTENDEES SAY
The biggest benefits are “dedicating time to the project and knowing other people are also dedicating time to their stuff as well.”~Lisa
“The biggest benefits for me are being accountable and enjoying the company of friends as we scrapbook together. I really look forward to these monthly Zoom crops!”~Ellen
“Meeting with a true professional who wants me to succeed is a big benefit. There, at the meeting, are others who have questions and answers and everyone helps everyone else…so the camaraderie is nice right from the start. I come for a chance to be inspired, to be encouraged and share with others who also want to leave a legacy of our lives for those who come after us.”~Judy
The workshop is open for 8.5 hours so that no matter your time zone or what else you may have planned that day, it’s easy to get a least a couple hours in on your project – no need to stay the whole time unless you want to. And it only costs $6, so its very affordable. If you find, after you’ve registered, that you can’t make it, I will give you 100% credit toward one of the next three workshops, so there’s really no risk.
You’ll accomplish so much on your project. But the best part is the help and the community. I’ll answer questions all day long so you can get it done. And several other experienced family photo keepers attend regularly who are also very helpful.
That’s the fix. Make a commitment – even to small bits of time here and there, and better yet, to someone else as well. Do that and you’ll no longer be overwhelmed with family photos.
Click the button to learn more. That’s the first step in being able to enjoy your memories now as well as leave a meaningful collection for future generations.