Organizing Photos, Before & After

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Recently, my crafty friend Danielle said that she needed to organize her photos and scrapbook supplies so she could work on her crafts. I offered to go over to her house recently to help with the organization.

Danielle is very crafty: she makes cards, scrapbooks, and makes cute Christmas ornaments.  This idea that I posted in December about simple ornaments was from Danielle.

Danielle had been ordering photos online, but they were in piles.

She had started to organize the photos, but hadn’t gotten too far.

I will post more “before and after” photos of her scrap room another time, but for now, here’s the photo project.  She gathered all of her photos together, and started going through them.

After I left, she continued working.  She put tabs in between categories and sorted the photos into plastic containers and photo boxes.  Photo boxes can be purchased inexpensively at most department stores.

I am using my label maker to make labels for Danielle’s photo boxes…I ran out of labels (eeek!), but I will get them to her soon.

MUCH better!  Great job, Danielle. Now she can start making cute scrapbook pages again.

A few photo organizing tips:

  • Gather all of your photos into one place.
  • Go through photos and sort them into general piles.  It’s okay to pitch photos that are blurry or too dark.  They are not going to get any less blurry or dark.  I am giving you all permission to throw away crummy photos.  Really.
  • Use index cards or simple pieces of paper to make dividers.  General labels like “Wedding”, “School”, “Christmas” or “Kids” are OK. You may already have photo boxes or containers in the house, but if you have to purchase some they are usually only $4 or $5 apiece.
  • Put your photos into photo boxes with lids, to keep them dust-free and away from light.

Danielle and I love to scrapbook.  However, even if you don’t scrap, it’s nice to have all your photos together so it’s easier to look through them.

For more scrapbook organizing info: see this link for how I used my label maker to organize my scrapbook paper.  Also see this link about the table I use to store my scrapbook supplies.

Anyone need to organize some photos?

Linking this up to: The Shabby Chic Cottage/Somewhat Simple/Beyond the Picket Fence/Tales from Bloggeritaville/Fingerprints on the Fridge/A Little Knick Knack/Tidy Mom/Chick on a Shoestring Decorating/Frugal & Fabulous Design/We are That Family/Organize and Decorate Everything

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My Scrapbook Table

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I’ve been scrapbooking since 1998, and over the years I’ve used various tables and desks to work on.  We decided that since I do SO much scrapbooking, I needed a better set up.  We went to an unfinished furniture store in our area, and bought this: a kitchen island.

Handy Man brought it home and finished it with polyurethane for me.  He also reinforced the bottom, and put rubber wheels on it so I could move it around.  I can move it into the living room and watch a movie while I scrap.

Believe me, my scrap surface is NOT this clean all the time!  I try to start out this way, so I can find everything…but it ends up covered in pages and paper and photos, etc.  The zippered case on the left holds blades and cutting system patterns. The long, black case in the middle stores stickers.  The tall black case on the right stores paper.  On the left is my 12″ Making Memories trimmer , and the pages I’m working on are right in front of me.  I also put the small trimmer to my right.  The blue and white item on the surface is my Ott light.  These lights are great for giving good, clear light for scrapping or any kind of crafting.

On the side of the island facing us, there is an overhang that is hard to see in the photo.  I bought a bar-height chair that I can sit on that brings me right up to the table so I can sit in a good position to scrap.

I bought these baskets from the unfinished furniture store; they were reasonably priced, and fit perfectly.  Inside them I store my EZ runner and other adhesives; large and small punches, extra cutting templates etc. etc.  I can pick up a basket and put it on the surface while using it.

The back of the unit, which has shelves for storage: I usually store my photo boxes in there, and bags and cases that I use when transporting my stuff to a crop.  I also store 12×12 page refills, and 12×12 pages that are in progress.  I do have to pull the whole unit from the wall to get around to the back, but that is easy because of the wheels.  Plus, I store things in there that I don’t need to access every time I scrap.

These are the shelves opposite the basket shelves.  Handy Man thought I should get more square baskets, but I wanted larger areas to store big items.  I store memorabilia in here, stamps (which I don’t use that much yet), and oversize memorabilia and such that won’t fit elsewhere.  I may get more square baskets eventually, but for now I like the more open storage here.

Above each side (where the baskets and large memorabilia are stored), I have small drawers. One side holds pens and a few extra blades; and the other side stores miscellaneous photos.

That’s a tour of my scrapbook table.  Right now, the surface is a mess, because I’ve been sorting some photos and memorabilia, but before I get to working, I’ll clean it off.  This holds most of the things I use to scrap.  I do have some extra albums and pages in a closet elsewhere, because if I stored them here I’d have to room for my little things!  But this table really contains all of the things I use when I’m scrapping.

I am also very careful when I think about buying something new; I think about where it would go on or in my table.  I’m selective, because I do not want to outgrow this table.  I want everything to be self-contained on here.

It can be hard to store crafts that have a lot of supplies (like scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, etc.)  If you have a craft area and it is a huge mess, work on whittling down the amount of “stuff” you have.  You can ask local schools if they would take donations of craft items.  Think about different ways you can store your craft things.

This wasn’t the cheapest option, but over the years I have struggled with storage, and having a large enough surface, so it was worth it to me to buy this piece of furniture.  Handy Man thought about buying wood to make me something similar, but it turns out that buying all new wood would have cost more than buying this island and refinishing it!

Linking to: Miss Mustard Seed/Organize and Decorate Everything/It’s so Very Cheri

Do you have a craft or hobby area?  What is it like?

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