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Overwhelmed by photos? 5 tips to get on top


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Hello, I'm Jo Williams, author of the blog . My intention is to live more simply and thoughtfully. My writings challenge the dominant paradigms of endless work, consumerism, and subsequent waste; celebrate the everyday; and share my love of the revolutionary activities of growing, making, and baking things. My hope is to influence others to make small changes in their own lives to benefit both themselves and the environment.


Photo overwhelm is more of a problem today than ever before. Make this the year you print, preserve, and enjoy those precious photos.

Prior to digital technology, the only way you could see your photos was to get them developed. So that’s what we all did!

Organise your photos in a sort box.

Organise your photos in a sort box

For many, like me, those photos went straight into an album where they could be enjoyed by all. Others stashed them into a shoe box to sort out ‘one day’.

These days, we see photos instantly so there is not the same motivation to get them printed. Large numbers of photos can be stored electronically and so more and more accumulate.

I can understand how this happens. In the first eight weeks of my new phone’s life I already had 116 photos on it, and another 208 that I had deleted after moving them to a laptop. I’m determined to avoid photo overwhelm with this phone.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by either your phone photos or by that shoebox of unsorted photos from the past, here are my top five tips.

1. Buy a sort box

This will help you organise your photos into events for putting them into albums. Yes, my tips do include preserving your photos in a non-electronic format! Holding an album in your hands is the best way to enjoy those photos from your holiday or that special event. The Creative Memories Power Sort Box is available

2. Delete and sort for 10 minutes each day

Spend some time every day going through the photos on your phone. Yes it’s a massive task. But the task will only get bigger if you take more without dealing with the ones you have. Go event by event and start by deleting any blurred or duplicate photos. Those minutes that you spend waiting – for an appointment, for someone to arrive, for public transport – can be put to good use this way.

Sort them into folders by event or chronologically as you go. If you are tackling that jumbled box of old photos unearthed from the corner of the cupboard, do likewise. Throw out any bad photos – be brutal! Start filing the good ones straight into your sort box, chronologically or by event.

3. Get your photos printed

For less than 15 cents each, you can have your photos printed at a photographic, electronics or office supply store; or upload them to be printed and sent to you. It will cost you less than $30 to get a couple of hundred photos printed. Use a pencil to label the dividers in your Power Sort Box, and organise your prints into the box. You are now well on your way to conquering photo overwhelm.

4. Buy an album, some tools, some paper and get started

Scrapbooking does not require a lot of creativity, nor does it have to be fussy. You will need an album, a trimmer, adhesive, and maybe some paper to get started. range makes it so easy. The albums have pre-designed pages that your photos can go straight onto. Great for holiday and baby albums, particularly. Or, you can buy an album plus separate pages and page protectors.

All of these beautiful and high-quality scrapbooking products can be found on my Scrapbooking is a lovely activity to do with friends, or on your own. I’ve found that attending a monthly workshop is a good way to keep my albums reasonably up to date. You know you are going on that particular night, and that can be the impetus for getting your most recent photos printed.

Look for one in your local area, or think about starting one if you have a group of friends who are also interested in preserving their memories by scrapbooking their photos. I’ve just moved to a new area and have not found a workshop here so far, so I’m thinking about starting one myself! It’s a lovely social thing to do.

5. Resolve to continue to follow tips 2 – 4!

Will this be the year that you deal with those thousands of photos on your phone, or those unsorted photos you have stashed away? I have always believed that unless photos are printed, preserved, and journalled, the what, where and when of the photo can easily be lost. Sadly, so can the who. Please don’t let this happen to the important moments in your life.

If I can help with further advice about getting started, please me via Ys People, or my FB page at .

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