Thursday, March 21, 2013

Organizing My Life

When I created my list of 30 before 30, I knew that some of the items on the list would be harder than others.  However, some have really surprised me.  For example, I thought paddle boarding would take a great deal of grace and balance (both of which I lack.)  I learned that it was much easier than I anticipated and was pleased with the results.  On the other hand, I thought, 'doing something with all my photos' would be a piece of cake.  I would need an afternoon free to put together some photo albums.  Wrong!  This was, by far, the most time consuming challenge of all.  I blame my OCD I inherited from my mother on this one.  Thanks, Mom!

I started this project by taking down the boxes of photos hidden in the back of my closet.  This is a collection of beat-up shoe boxes that have survived every move I've done since 18.  The contained random photos from when I was a baby up through mid college, when I stopped using disposable cameras and everything went digital.  Throw in a collection from Logan to make things extra complicated and my task grew.  So I started organizing.  I am a chronological girl when it comes to photos.  I started creating piles for each age range as best as I could tell.  Unfortunately, I have a hard concept when it comes to ages of children, even when the child is me.  A kid could be 4 or 12 for all I know.  Just creating these piles, not even touching a book took me about 3 evenings.

Next I started organizing my digital catalog.  iPhoto is one of the many reasons why I LOVE my MacBook.  It is so easy to organize your photos.  First I lumped all my photos into albums by year.

Then I divided out all of the photos into events within that year.

Then I created a few folders of 'collections' since Logan and I are creatures of habits and enjoy the same events year after year.

Again, I have not even touched a photo album yet and am now a week into the project!  After all the photos were organized it was time to get started.  I went with the physical photos first.  I created photo albums, while trying to keep as close to the chronological order as possible.  I devoted a few albums just to vacations.  I also created a book to keep all the photos, bibs and medals from the various races that Logan and I have participated in.  This process took roughly 2 more evenings.  (Each evening session lasted about 3 hours.)

Isn't it beautiful?
Now for the fun part.  Obviously, this would not have been put on my bucket list if it wasn't something I would enjoy doing.  I went onto one of my favorite websites, Shutterfly, and began to play.  It took about one full day of having Shutterfly on in the background while I created photo albums on their website for each year.  I wanted to create a photo-book for each year that I had digital photos of.  Once the images were uploaded I created a book, one year at a time.  Each year took me roughly 3 days to create, spending about 2 hours a day on it.  After all my books were created, I waited to see if there were any good deals to come through from Shutterfly.  (One of the reasons they are a favorite website is because they have awesome coupons.)  Take an additional 20% off all photo-books plus free shipping, SCORE!  Now comes the waiting...  waiting patiently for my bright orange package
to arrive.

I really do get like a kid in the candy store when these orange packages arrive at my door.  Finally, this project is complete.  After weeks of working, I can finally cross this item off.  After a total of roughly 50 hours of organizing over a period of about 2 months, I have 33 albums capturing all the important moments of my life to date. 

Of those 33 albums, I have 10 photo-books that I created using Shutterfly.  Something that I decided to do in each of the photo-books was a 'Top 10 Moments' list for the year.  It was really fun to reflect back on what all we enjoyed doing that year.   This might not have been an adventurous item to cross off, but it sure was the most rewarding.  I feel a big sense of accomplishment.  Now, let's see if I can keep up with my books in the future, so I am only making one book each year, instead of 33!  

This is my favorite book:
It is a collection of photos of our sweet puppy, Mallory.

This is it.  After all my hard work, my life can fit into two
shelves on the bottom of my bookcase.  

No comments:

Post a Comment