Organize Meaningful Memories

You love to capture your family’s big and small moments in life. But what do you do with all of those photos?

Studio 5 Contributor Mandy Douglass says it’s time to change the way you organize and store family memories and she shares her fool proof strategies.

Organization of your photos is so very important, so you don’t loose memories that are visual and so very close to your heart.
Here is my personal method for organizing my photos!

Back up your photos!

You need to have your photos in two places.
I have chosen:

1. An External Hard Drive, (might run you about $100 for a 2 terabyte)

2. Printable DVD’s that I store in another location other than my home

(other methods would include purchasing a 2nd hard drive, or uploading to a storage site)

I organize the photos like this on my disks and hard drive:

1. Organized my photos into years by creating a folder for each year.

2. Split each year into seasons (spring, summer, winter, fall)

3. Split each season into individual activities / holidays. (lagoon, fourth of july, etc.)

4. Now that they are organized, I decided to add the photos that are on all those floating disks. These could be disks others have given to me, along with disks from photoshoots, etc. This will be a back-up incase one of your disks get ruined.

5. I saved all the individual seasons onto a DVD.(So for every year I have a Beginning Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter end disk).
The reason I say a DVD, is because it has a lot more space on it than a CD. Many people would argue whether or not to get “gold” disks, or other types of disks that claim to be more archival … I personally didn’t spend the money, because these are just a “back-up” of what is already on your hard drive!

6. Mark the disks – This was my favorite part. I have this printer: (Epson Stylus Photo 1400)

It will print on your disks, rather than just a sticker! Aren’t the photos just fun?

But for time sake, and organization sake, invest in a good cd marker and be on your way!

7. Get some really inexpensive boxes from Ikea to store them in.

8. Create Tabs. File the 5 disks, along with the “loose disks” from each year behind each disk. I like to color coordinate mine.

Organizing your Children’s school work memories

Make sure you keep only the necessary items that really are important. These are items that show a fingerprint, a hand, the first time they wrote their name. Get rid of anything that has a messy factor (glitter).

My son’s preschool teacher gave me a disk of pictures from the year of all the fun projects they made. I used Stampin’ Up!’s digital software and template to create this darling Preschool from A-Z book.

This book took me just an hour or two and will be such a great treasured memory for both my son and I.

Organizing your family memories

I took 4500 photos last year. Now what do I do with them?
Although I love to scrapbook, it would take a wonder-woman to scrapbook the amount of pictures I take. So instead I make it easy on myself and create a yearly summary of the year using only my favorite photos.

(These pages were created in Shutterfly, which right now I like the most for the easiest and fastest way, still being able to use a template or have a little cute factor, to organize this many photos!)

For a smaller type of book to show off the photos on my phone or instagram, I found this darling little book on!

Very plain and simple, but does what I want it to do, and that is to display my year with just photos … not even words to explain each photo!

Family Slideshow as a year in review

Another way to remember your family photos is to create a slideshow dvd of your year in review. We do this at the end of each year during the holidays and collect pictures from all of our family members!
My favorite program to create a slideshow is on my MAC, which is iMovie. However other members of my family who only use PC’s have used Proshow Gold, and have had great success!

Organizing a mother’s memories

As mothers, we often we concentrate so much on our kids and family memories, that we don’t record much about personal life and thoughts.

I have chosen this “slip in photo planner” from Perannum (my book planner)
as the perfect fit for my thoughts and memories. I always have a single picture of myself on the front.

Inside I bullet point events from that month that were important to me.

I include a picture of myself from that month. YES this means you have to take one picture a month of you! It can be of everyday life!

Lastly I journal at least once that month about things that happened. It could be thoughts and feelings, an embarrassing moment … whatever it may be, it is simple thoughts about mom!

* Check out my blog to win one of these amazing books!

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