Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Organizing Photos (I Think)

This post was written yesterday, but due to blogspot doing "maintenance on the server," I was unable to attach the photograph until this morning.

Since I was fighting my fibro all day, I thought I would take Colleen's advice for her Monday challenge and work on my photos.  This is a huge project and so overwhelming!

If you've been reading, you know that I recently did the photo wall in the family room and I spent some time culling years of JCPenney and Sears portraits of the kids taken when they were little and throwing out duplicates of school portraits that would totally embarrass them now.  I thought I was doing really well.  Until I got the first three boxes of photographs out and brought them up to the bedroom.  The very first box was full of professional portraits that I had missed!  In all different sizes and various duplications.  Remember when you bought those "sheets" of pictures, figuring you would give wallet sizes to aunts and uncles, 5X7's to the grandparents, and keep the 8X10's of a couple of different poses?  Apparently, I kept most of the pictures.  I also found the album a friend made for me from my baby shower two days before Joey was born (wow, I was so pregnant!) and some stray photographs.  I'm not sure, but I think I had designated that box the "portrait box" and some extra photographs just got thrown in there by mistake.

Anyway, I spent awhile going through the box.  At one point, Justin came up and I said, "It's hopeless. I don't know what to do with all of these!"  He laughed sympathetically and just said, "I know."

I went back to Colleen's site, hoping to find some inspiration and there was a reply to my question about duplicates from someone suggesting that I save them to make albums to give to the kids when they grow up and move out.  That's a great idea, but an awful lot of work.  I thought it over and decided it would be a good idea in the future and that for now, I would just sort the photos by child and separate them into envelopes with their names on them.  I didn't even throw duplicates out.  Right now, I am more concerned with the sorting than the chucking.  Once I decide what to do with what I've sorted, I will focus more on getting rid of the ones that are just multiple copies of the same portrait.

I spent a good deal of the afternoon alternating between leaning back on my three pillows watching Roseanne reruns on Oxygen and trying to make sense of everything that came out of the first box.  Here's where I am at this point:

I have an envelope for each kid, an envelope for family photos, and a smaller envelope full of pictures of one of our cats that died a couple of years ago.  Apparently, I went around gathering his pictures after he died, so they were all in one place.  I think.

Where do I go from here?  I have no idea.  I have no desire to do this project, but it is the single most disorganized thing in my house.  I have been throwing pictures into boxes for all 23 years of my marriage and there are many more boxes down in the basement besides the three that I brought up.  Even after reading Colleen's steps, I still am not quite sure what to do with all these pictures.  That comes from a place where I am not overly attached to them, but I think maybe the kids might want them someday down the line. 

And of course, I got overly sentimental as I went through the one box yesterday, so it was a little good for a trip down memory lane and a little depressing when I came across the glamour shots I had taken when I was 29.  In fact, I think there were a few tears when I saw my younger, prettier self.  Was this exercise supposed to make my depression worse?  I'm sure that was not the intention!

I might need to choose something less overwhelming to declutter today.  Colleen had said she would let me off the hook for two of her mini-missions this week - photos on Monday and books on Tuesday - because I had already put a great deal of effort into both exercises last week.  I have a full box of books that needs to be donated to the library and I will be taking it on my next trip when I return the books I checked out.  So maybe I pick something very small to do for Tuesday.  And do something fun.  I need it.



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