Back in December and January, I tackled organizing our 1997 thru 2008 photos. I’d recently received a great coupon from the company from whom I order photos so decided to use it to order our photos from 2009 to current and get those organized in the same way.

I ended up ordering just shy of 600 photos (584, to be exact!), which stacked up like so:

Sadly, all photos I’d taken between January thru June of 2010 are lost forever — they were on my laptop, but not uploaded anywhere and not backed up in any way, which wasn’t a problem until that particular laptop took a nosedive off our couch, thereby destroying the hard drive. That sucked. (although it did spur me to begin regularly backing up my laptop!)

Organizing these actually wasn’t overly time-consuming because I’m pretty methodical about how I organize photos on my laptop. I sort them by year and by month, and when I upload them for ordering I sort them the same way. So when these nearly-600 pictures were printed and packaged up, for the most part each month’s photos were grouped together, which saved a great deal of hair-pulling ;-).

That said, it seems like it would’ve been natural for one envelope to contain, say, January thru March 2011 photos, but it didn’t work out that way — each envelope was a surprise package of, for example, one month from this year + one month from 2009 and maybe a month or two (but not consecutive months!) from 2011 thrown in for good measure — so there was still a bit of effort required to figure out from which year and month each envelope’s pictures came . . . but nothing as crazy as it could’ve been if I’d uploaded the pictures willy-nilly without any kind of pre-organization!

So that stack of photos now looks like this:

Within each year’s container, the photos are organized in date order. They may not stay that way as we pull them out and look through them, but since each photo is now dated it’d be easy enough to re-order them should I or someone else so choose (this is assuming one of my descendants is as anal as I about that kind of stuff LOL).

And here’s what I’ve done to-date (photos 1997 to current):

I look forward to tackling the box of “old pictures,” but not today . . . or tomorrow ;-). My brain’s ready for something more artsy/crafty and less Organizing Olive!

Photo Storage: 1997-2008 Done

This is one of the “one of these days” projects I started shortly before Christmas. All our photos from 1997 through 2008 are now in this one photo storage box. Awesomesauce!!

Pretty amazing when you consider they’d previously been stored in TWELVE photo albums!!

Every single picture in this box now has the photo’s date, event (if applicable), and names of everyone in the photo noted on the back. That was the most time-consuming part of organizing these! But it’s comforting to know that when our boys are going through all these photos at some point in the future, they won’t pick up a picture and wonder what year it’s from, or who the kids are in the picture (if it’s a picture of my hubby or me, or our parents), or (if it’s a picture of them) how old they were in the picture, or where that was we were on vacation and when, and so forth.

The photo storage box I used is this. It has twelve inserts and each one can hold up to 200 photos. I figure one more container will work for the 1996-n-prior photos, and another container for 2009-forward. And then maybe one without the inserts, in which we can stack any photos that are bigger than 4×6.

Now I’m putting this project aside for a while again, because I’ve hit burnout on writing on the backs of photos ;-). But when I’m ready to start back up again, this is what I’ll be facing:

They’re all presorted into decades; unfortunately, the further back in time they go, the more challenging it will be for me to determine specific years. And then there’s the baggie labeled “Need Help With These”, which means I need for my hubby and I to get with our respective parents and see if they can identify people and perhaps even years. But if we don’t do it, the odds that our kids will know who those people are are slim to none. So that’s good incentive to get it done :-).

I have my fingers in a lot of pies right now and am not quite ready to jump into a cross-stitch or detailed embroidery project, so I think next up I’ll see if I have enough fabrics to make a patchwork top for the cover of the artwork journal I mentioned in this post. I also have an idea in mind of how I’d like to (unofficially) participate in TAST 2012, so I’m going to experiment with that a bit — small-scale, free-form embroidery feels just right for the busyness of this month.

Tackling Some of My “One of These Days” Projects

One of the dry erase boards in my home office has a list of various “one of these day” projects — you know, the things you want to do but which are generally quite time-intensive and maybe not as fun as needlework projects ;-).

After I finished my last craft swap for this year, and my last stitchy WIP, I decided to make some progress on a couple of those “one of these days” projects (knowing that Santa would be bringing me lots of stitchy goodies that would draw my attention away from non-stitchy projects soon enough!). These are the two projects I’ve been working on for the past several days:

ART JOURNAL FOR MY KIDDO’S STUFF — I took many of the drawings and other paper things our 13yo has made over the years and made an art journal for them. I bought an 11×14 sketchpad and adhered the papers into it using scrapbooking adhesive tape for the most part, but reverted to staples for things that were thick (like some of the paintings and things that were in packet form).

I included the menu and newsletters he made when he had an imaginary cafe set up in our spare room (before it became a home office), as well as the blog posts from the various game-review blogs he’s had in the past.

He doesn’t do much drawing these days, but there’s still plenty of room in the sketchbook for whatever he does in paper format in the coming years.

Because there are still lots of blank pages in the art journal, starting from the back of the sketchbook I added some of the drawings his cousins have made when they’ve been at our house, because those drawings are special to me, too :-).

The last thing I want to do on this project is a patchwork treatment for the cover, using this method by Nat of From Hell To Breakfast (and The Smallest Forest). I actually want to do this before I move on to another project, so that this art journal project can be marked off my “one of these days” list — as much as I love making lists (and I *do* love making lists!!), it’s equally as enjoyable to mark things off the lists ;-). I’ll share pics of the art journal cover when I’m done with it.

ORGANIZING & LABELING PHOTOS — I’ve been working on this project on and off for over a decade — I’ll work on it for several weeks or a month, then put it aside for a year or more. When I originally started organizing our photos by date, I’d been putting them into photo albums, starting from back during my pregnancy and working forward (because those pics were easy to organize each time I had the photos developed/printed).

But it became apparent in recent years that wasn’t the best idea, because a dozen years’ worth of pictures filled up at least that many photo albums! AND we still had photos from prior to ’97, from our childhoods, and from when our parents and grandparents were young, all of which I wanted to organize as well — we would’ve ended up with more photo albums than we had room!! And forget trying to get them out of the house in a hurry (assuming “in a hurry” allowed time for gathering up more than humans, dogs, and wallets).

So I scored some Folding Photo Organizers at Hobby Lobby.

They come with 12 inserts, each of which can hold up to 200 pics. I’ll be able to get a lot of years’ worth of photos into one box! (I’m going to futz around with the photos in the above organizer and combine some years, so that each insert is full, like the 2003 & 2004 inserts are.) As I’m organizing the photos into these organizers, on the back of each photo I’m writing the info about who’s in the pic and the date and/or event — that’s actually the most time-consuming part.

Once I get the ’97-to-current pics done, I’ll start working backwards from ’97. It’ll get really interesting when I start working on photos from when my hubby and I were kids, and when our parents and grandparents were young! I’ve already sorted most of those older pictures by decades, so I’m a step ahead there.

This isn’t a project that’ll be completed anytime soon, but it feels good to continue making progress on it. And it’s a nice project to work on while watching tv or a movie, if I don’t want to be stitching instead :-).