This is a guest post by organization expert Angela Harris. Her company, Angela Harris Design, Inc. helps clients to create order in public and private spaces and to preserve their stories through beautiful photo albumn products.
Q: What’s the key to preserving your memories?
HINT: The same thing that makes everything (from your closets + meal planning, to your home + calendar) work beautifully
One of the most common ways to capture our story is through photographs. And one of the most common complaints I hear from clients is, “What do I do with these (visual AND virtual!) piles of photos?”
I’m passionate about preserving your story AND being the author of it. But as a mom of two young children, I know how difficult this can be. While running my album design company, and (oftentimes, more challenging) household, order became my lifesaver. So much so that helping others organize is now a big part of what my I do! Before my Photo Organizing 101, here’s what I’ve learned about order:
1. My mantra: surround yourself with what you love. Our lives are often filled with excess. Order is about having a vision (knowing, keeping, adding what you DO love) and streamlining (taking out what you DON’T).
2. Each of us defines order differently – and each needs a personalized approach.
3. Being more organized is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you work on it little by little, you will begin to feel that “shift” from chaos to control.
4. Building systems – and keeping them as simple as possible – is vital to maintaining order.
5. Evaluate and tweak when necessary.
6. If you are overwhelmed, want quicker results, or simply need another viewpoint, enlist the help of a trusted friend or professional organizer.
7. LET GO of perfection.
8. Infusing order into life brings tremendous benefits: less stress, more control … positively impacting our attitude, health, loved ones … and translating into one thing we DO need in excess: PEACE.
Using the same basic steps I use when organizing a client’s home or workspace, here’s how to turn your good intentions of photo organization into a reality.
#1. DEFINE VISION
First, gather all photos. Now visualize: What’s your ideal outcome for this project?
WHAT story you wish to tell
HOW you’ll organize
WHO you’ll involve
WHEN you can commit
WHERE you’ll do it
#2. PURGE + SORT
Decide what to toss while sorting the rest.
#3. FIND HOME
Now, decide what you’ll use to tell your story: album (digitally downloaded, traditional photo, scrapbook), frames, containers – or some of each.
#4. CREATE SYSTEM
Systems are vital to maintaining order. Simplify what you can!
Label (individual photos or groups)
Share (on-line or gift)
Protect (back it up!)
And if it’s NOT easy (or completely UNenjoyable)…
#5. EVALUATE + TWEAK
Change what’s not working.
… which happens to be what I’m in the process of doing! I’ll post my progress updates (including tips/product suggestions). And would LOVE for you to share YOUR ideas with me! Join me at: http://angelaharrisdesign.wordpress.com/.
Have fun telling your story… and make it a good one while you’re at it!