Why You Haven’t Organized Your Pictures and Memories Yet (How to Fix It)

Your pictures and memories are precious to you, but they still aren’t organized. In this post I’ll explain why and I’ll help you fix it.

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If you remember how to dial a telephone, you likely have at least 30 years of photo memories in your possession. You may also have slides, videotapes and old home movies as well. Not to mention 20 years of digital photos.

I’ve been helping people manage their pictures and memories for 20 years, and I’ve seen some people make great progress. I’ve also noticed some people don’t make that great progress, and there are a few common reasons for that.

In this article, I’ve broken down why I think you haven’t organized your photos yet, and also, what you can do to fix it.

You haven’t committed the time

It took your photos many years to get into their current condition and situation. It won’t take nearly as long to get them organized, but it will take time. Deep down you probably know that and are overwhelmed by that whole idea.

Most people ignore their pictures and memories for many years. Some people make a conscious decision to permanently ignore them and figure their kids can handle them once they are gone. Problem solved, they think.

But it’s not solved. It’s just delayed, passed on. The truth of the matter is that your children are likely to toss boxes of disorganized photos and mementos. It happens every day, and there are a few scientific reasons for it.

  • Your children are in a different stage of life than you are, and their nostalgia is naturally lower.
  • They grew up in a different time period than you did, and they don’t tend to value physical items in the same way.
  • When you’re gone, your children will be grieving your loss at the same time they will be dealing with your property. They simply may not have the emotional bandwidth, nor the time, given their other responsibilities, to deal with anything that would require that much more work.

It’s not that your children don’t care about the memories. I truly believe that they do. There are in a different biological and psychosocial stage of life than you are. Getting your pictures and memories organized now would be a supreme act of love.

How can you fix this?

If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you don’t want to leave a photo mess for your children or next of kin. You want to get your pictures and memories organized, and you’re looking for help.

I’m here to help, and the first thing I will tell you is that you must commit the time. It doesn’t matter if you choose 15 minutes a day, 2 hours a week, 4 hours a month or whatever. You must make a commitment and stick to it. You are, after all, doing this for your loved ones, and also for yourself.

I wrote an article on how to go about committing the time (and space) to this important project. Be sure to check it out – I really do think it will help.

If you really don’t have the time to organize your pictures and memories, you can hire me or another professional photo manager. And let me repeat – it is an act of love to create a meaningful collection to leave for future generations.

You don’t have a plan

You may have the desire to get your photo memories organized, but you don’t have an action plan.

Most people confuse the sheer number of items, or the large number of photo formats, with the complexity of the project. Yes, you may have printed photos, digital photos, slides, old home movies, videotapes and memorabilia, but that does not make the plan more complex. Those are just variables that will be handled within the plan. But this confusion can lead to overwhelm, which can then lead to paralysis.

How can you fix this?

Creating the plan is the second step you must take – after first committing the time.

I like to break the process down into 4 main steps:

  1. Organize your photos so you (and those who come after you) can find any photo quickly.
  2. Preserve your photos – and update old media – so they are safe from loss, disaster, and the ravages of time.
  3. Celebrate your memories by surrounding yourself with them in formats you enjoy.
  4. Share your memories with others who value them as much as you do.

Before you can start this process, you need to know where you are going. Start with your goals. Answer this question: What do you want to be able to do with your pictures and memories at the end of the project? This is what you want when you get to steps 3 and 4.

The next step is to gather everything into one location. Once you see what you have, you can break steps 1 and 2 down by format. And then, remember this: according to Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Have patience and take it one step at a time.

I have created a free Getting Started Checklist with a 5-email follow-up sequence that walks you through all the pre-work and planning listed above. At the end of the sequence you will be ready to jump in and start organizing. You can download that Checklist here.

Getting Started Checklist

You keep getting stuck and stopping

So many people reach out to me and tell me that they started and stopped so many times over the years. Sometimes it’s because the commitment died out, or because they got stuck on a question they had and didn’t know who to ask. Sometimes life got in the way, and then it was too hard to get back to it.

But then they realize that the road ahead is much shorter than the road behind. And they realize they must do it, and they must do it now. So the determination is often there, but the knowledge may still have gaps, especially with the speed of technological change these days.

How can you fix this?

Many people looking for help have found me on the internet (maybe you, too?). I have found myself answering the same questions over and over. I’ve done my best to answer as many of the questions as I can on my blog.

But I’ve realized, especially when it comes to technology, many people can’t quite figure it out from reading. What they need is someone to teach them exactly how to do something.

And this is why I founded The Family Photo Keeper Academy. The Academy is a low-cost, subscription-based, membership learning community. It’s filled with people just like you, family photo keepers with a lifetime of old family photos containing precious memories. The Academy will take you from photo memory chaos in boxes and bins to an organized collection that will bring you peace and joy.

It’s a place where you can learn how to manage your memories, at your own pace, in a like-minded community. No more trying to figure this out on your own, or thinking you already should know how to do it.

In the Academy, you’ll learn how to manage all your memories – no matter the format – with easy-to-follow tutorials, proven systems and expert advice. Plus, you’ll have access to professional support whenever you’re stuck.

You can learn more about the Academy here.

What’s next for your pictures and memories?

I’m sure after reading this article you can see why you may not be getting your photos organized. Hopefully, now you have some ideas on what you can do to tackle your collection once and for all.

If you’d like to discuss your pictures and memories with me, book a free, non-salesy call. I’d love to find out what you have and what you are struggling with so we can get you on the road to success.

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