A procrastination fix for photo storage

A procrastination fix for photo storage

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Procrastination promotes stress. I failed to admit to myself that I suffer with procrastination.

Some people wait until the last minute to write reports or cram for tests. I am not one of those people. In fact, peers teased younger me for this very trait. I find balance in routine and planning ahead. Spontaneous trips or sudden changes in a schedule knock my internal harmony off kilter.

Yet last week I faced a big problem caused by procrastination. I should never have procrastinated over my family photo projects. This is embarrassing to admit, but I neglected putting my printed photos into albums for 13 years. Homeschooling, gardening, work inside and outside the home, attending my children’s sporting and extra-curricular events took up my time. I spent my spare hours reading to relax or exercising.

Now, I face a tall pile of photos needing organization. (Wail.)

How did my procrastination begin?

Rather than buy albums, I stuffed the envelopes into boxes and stacked them on a shelf to do later.

When I took time to order prints of my pictures, I got overwhelmed because I had waited too many months since the last time. I do manage to keep photos in computer files by years and months. However, older files don’t identify pictures which causes difficulty in locating a particular picture in a search. But I fixed that part by specifically labeling them now. 

After receiving my large box in the mail, I sorted through the prints and put them in groups and a chronological sequence. For example, FFA pictures went in one group, football games in another, and track meets in another. I tried to remember which events happened when, but alas, that got fuzzy too. Because I neglected to do this for some years, dates challenge me now. Another problem surfaced: I kept them in the envelopes with minimal notes. Obviously, younger me didn’t think I’d procrastinate as long as I did.

Most groups at least have years attributed to them. But not all. Oh, how my procrastination haunts me now as I finally place them into albums. This project will take me longer than it should. How I wish I had kept up through the years, but I listened to my excuses.

For Christmas, my husband bought me two large albums, so over the New Year’s weekend, I began my project. It soon became apparent that I will need more albums and pages.

Tips to prevent your own photo project procrastination

I learned the hard way. My investment now will bring pleasure later and greater ease at finding particular memories. I am determined to see this through and finish it by March. I promise when I send out my next order, I’ll not wait to get those photos into an album.

Because I no longer have children in school, my photo taking opportunities are fewer. This may make the future task easier and speedier.

Use these steps to prevent your own photo project procrastination:

  1. Specifically label your photos in your computer files when you download them. Perhaps you want a file for track. Inside your file you date another file and include the name of the meet. I placed photos in folders by the month, and then made folders of events within the months. Each year has its own main file. I’ve tried sorting by people, but for me that got complicated. Example: 2023->May->Graduation->Ceremony file, open house file, friends file.
  2. Place orders for photos quarterly instead of annually. (Ahem.)
  3. Watch for album deals when you are shopping so that you have a place for your photos when they arrive in the mail.
  4. When your pictures arrive, sort them into the order you want.
  5. Use a special pen for writing on the back of the photos or paste a label on the back of the photo for identification. At least, make a table of contents or list somewhere that indicates the years and events in that particular album. (I’m working on this.)
  6. Place the photos into the albums.
  7. Enjoy your albums! Share them with your family and friends.

Print vs digital

Sometimes I wonder if I ought to even print all these photos. I spent a lot of money on the processing and postage over the years. Not to mention all the albums and time. . . We can view them on our phones and computers without the additional expense, after all. Yet technology changes and viewing them this way might become obsolete, so I continue to purchase the prints. Prints provide me a hard copy back up. There’s something relaxing and special about flipping through an actual book of memories. It’s nice to step away from technology for a while too.

Keeping organized may take a little extra effort now, but it saves stress later. I’m all for lessening stress! So, don’t procrastinate, friends!

When I finish with this project, perhaps I should clean out my file cabinets. Ugh. Okay, so maybe I’m a bigger procrastinator than I thought.

Do you procrastinate? Has that worked for you? How do you store your photos—in a cloud or in a book?

4 Replies to “A procrastination fix for photo storage”

  1. I understand the procrastination. I was always a person who was organized. I have tons of photo albums tucked away in the basement. That’s Crazy!!! When I finally went digital/phone pics I have not printed photos for years. They are all on my phone, and I sometimes have trouble finding them. I never thought I would become *that* person…but here I am. The world that I grew up in is not the world I live in. I no longer sort photos/pics into albums. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing?

    1. I can spend a lot of time trying to find photos on my phone. Oh, no! That’s another area I need to organize. It does get overwhelming and take up a lot of time, so I guess that is why we put it off. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Deb.

  2. A great winter project! You’ll feel so accomplished when you’ve got them all organized in albums. Plus, it will be fun to remember all the special occasions as you go through the photos.

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