Does your preschooler bring home enough weekly artwork to wallpaper the house? Do your youngsters have a sunburn from the frequent camera flash that captures all the cute moments? You know that you need to organize photos and artwork. The box you are using right now is crammed, and there is not enough room for more. So how do you go about organizing the would-be clutter and preserving precious memories?
Identify Clutter Locations
Are they in a shoebox? Do you pin them -- three deep -- to a cork-board? Is every free place in your home cluttered with picture frames? Enough already! Gather your photo clutter. Go ahead, dig up the boxes, bring out the bags and do not stop until you find the hidden folders of junior's artwork.
Tip: If you have too many picture frames displayed in your home, take all photos out of the frames. Add them to the clutter (for now).
Sort the Find
Sort your photos by subject or arrange them chronologically. Make distinct piles. Store each pile in a bag or box.
Tip: Create a separate pile for memories you cannot place. Make a note to ask other family members if they remember when a photo in question was taken.
Blurry photos, your son's first 20 attempts at drawing a triangle, the pictures chronicling the building of the house you sold three years ago -- all these are examples of memories that you do not have to hold onto. The same goes for the digital pictures that are cluttering your computer hard drive or camera memory. Get rid of the photos that have no relevance anymore.
Tip: If deleting photos or tossing out artwork just does not seem right, box it up in a big moving crate and tape it shut with duct tape. If you do not open the box in two years, toss it unopened.
Choose the Winners
Your daughter's first ballet recital, her preschool picture, the family vacation; these are examples of pictures you want to keep and display. Assign two picture frames to each pile you have identified. Choose the two best memories for framing. Place the rest in a photo album. Label the album pages with dates, locations and names of those shown. Why not start scrapbooking? You can have a lot of fun with these memories.
Tip: Do this by pile. If you sorted your photos chronologically, you display two photos per year. For the artwork, you choose the best specimens for hanging and place the rest in a dedicated folder.
More by Sylvia Cochran