Love your pictures again…

I made it home and it was a successful trip!  We got two negatives on my son’s allergy skin testing (eggs and wheat!) which is huge but we do have to wait on the blood test results before we get our hopes up too high.  Still we’ve never been in this position before so as you can imagine it is impossible not to get a little excited about the possibilities!

While I was away I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the whole picture organization thing.   Why is it such a cumbersome task for so many of us?  Through your comments and emails I realize that there are so many of us out there that struggle with this same issue.

So many pictures….too overwhelming

Too many steps… little time

Not urgent…I’ll get to it eventually

Too many options….much too complicated

For me and my struggle to organize pictures over the years I’ve come up against every single one of those excuses.  I always seemed to get stuck at some point in the process.  A couple of years ago it was the last one on the list for me.  I just couldn’t narrow down online where I wanted to print my pictures.   Costco is my favorite but I live 8 hours away from one of those.  So my pictures just kept piling up on my hard drive taunting me every time I logged on.  Thankfully Kodak Gallery opened up shop online in Canada last year and solved that dilemma for me.


(one of my favorite pictures)

However that didn’t solve all my problems.  I became efficient at printing my pictures but not about filing them unfortunately.   They’d come in and because it wasn’t urgent that I file them they’d get neglected and the pile would just grow and grow.   No one was tripping over them so it was an easy pile to ignore and it was always that one thing on my list that didn’t get crossed off.   Why do that to myself?  I needed to find a solution that worked with me and saved me that dreaded step.  Photobooks I’ve discovered are the perfect solution for me and the last piece of my picture pile puzzle.  You can read about my first photobook experience here.   I am happy to report that after all these years I’ve managed to eliminate every single last excuse I had and pictures are finally a joy for me once again.

For my girlfriend it meant something different.  She was tired of the expense and time of printing pictures no one ever looked at.  She eliminated that step entirely and went with a digital picture frame that now everyone in the family enjoys daily.

Which step in the process are you getting hung up?  What can you do about it?  By streamlining your process are you able to eliminate steps that you dread?   Are you making things more complicated than they need to be?  Is a compromise necessary?  Zero in on the excuses that run through your head and brainstorm solutions that will allow you to say goodbye to the unnecessary stress and guilt that steal your picture joy.

I’ve got one last pile of pictures I need to tackle from before Christmas and my discovery of photobooks.  I’m going to get it done today once and for all.


No more excuses!

Related posts:

Getting my pictures organized


This post sponsored by Dovetail Organizer.  Win a copy for yourself by participating in this month’s organizing round-up.  Here’s how.

Filed under: Monthly Round-up, Pictures


28 Responses to Love your pictures again…

  1. 2
    Tess says

    Good luck with getting your photos organized Laura. Mine are all on various computers and I would seriously love to get a digital photo frame. We have one in the foyer at school and it is a wonderful PR tool!

  2. 3
    Candace says

    I get hung up on the printing part as well! I have started saving them onto my SD disk and taking them to walmart to save onto a CD. I can do several hundred at the time and it isn’t overly expensive. I think so far I have done 900 for $6 or $7. They give you a thumbprint of all the pictures on the disk.

    I do print out some of the ones I want and change out a few frames every few months!

  3. 4
    Debi says

    Oh Laura, what a positive sign! Fingers, toes, and even eyes crossed that those blood tests will come back with good news!!! You all are in our thoughts!

  4. 5
    Katharine says

    I am so happy about the news on your son. Mine son is 6 and has outgrown beef, pork, wheat, soy and eggs. He still has milk and peanuts and tree nuts. Every year at his birthday he gets bloodwork and skin testing, so I know how you feel. Good Luck and keep us posted on the results.

  5. 6
    se7en says

    You are so brave… I have a box of photographs that I take out of the cupboards every six months or so and say today is the day… it lives on the kitchen counter for a week… I am thrilled with the free space in the closet… and a week later in desperation for some kitchen counter top I jam it back into another closet space… and wait six months and repeat… I have been doing this for eight years… no kidding! This is a box of photos from our pre-digital days. All the best to you my admiration knows no bounds!!!

  6. 7
    Lis says

    I’m new to your blog 🙂 Pictures is something that is on my today list. I desperately need to organize mine.

  7. 8
    Snow White says

    great news about your son!

    as for pictures, my most challenging thing have been managing digital photos — but I think I may have found something that works 🙂

  8. 9
    Elizabeth says

    I’m so glad you’re getting your pictures organized! It’s my passion to help people do this very same thing and I love it when they finally feel the urge. 🙂

  9. 10
    Photina says

    I am glad to hear the great news on your son!

    Organizing pictures (whether digital or actual photos) is what I love to do. I love helping my friends and family too. Every picture has a story and I love to hear/share it. Kodak Gallery is great for printing out pictures. I’ve used them for years.

  10. 11
    Ashley says

    That is great news about your son. Hopefully the blood tests come back negative too.

  11. 12
    pendy says

    I find that I print very few pictures (just a few for a platter on the coffee table) but enjoy pictures more than ever before. How? I use Picasa from Google (which does a great job organizing, by the way) and my screensaver is my picture file. I also blog my photos, so they serve as a journal of sorts.

  12. 13
    ter says

    back in the day of film camera, I was very organized with my photos. As soon as I got them developed they went straight into a photo album. In order they were taken.

    Then I got a digital camera.

    And I had the same problem that alot of people did…. just didn’t get around to printing them.

    Well, I finally started to print some of them (about 300-400 pics) and I did it via Walmart online, and the PROBLEM was that when the pics came back….

    they were not in order!!!

    (on the walmart website, I would click click click and then add them and then click some more to insert more and by the time it was in “the cart” they were all mixed up but I thought that was just on the site, but apparently not… they came that way)

    and so because my photos are not event specific, it is difficult for me to try and sort them out.. I need to figure out whether I should put them in order of subjects? (all sunset pics together, all Puppy pics together?) or in order of date (which would be harder?)

    So I’ve never gone back to trying to organize them, it’s too daunting a chore! (and I’ve got several hundred more to print!)

    I’d love your opinion on how to sort my pics… perhaps once I do that it’ll be much easier!!

    I do like your photo book idea, but at the same time, I’m very much a “gotta feel the photo” person, you know?

    (oh and the other negative thing about the walmart website, is that for some of my photos, it looked fine on the screen but when I got the print, part of it was cut off. what the hey?! I didn’t think I had to edit every pic, just the ones I thought needed editing, but I guess you have to edit EVERYTHING.)

  13. 14
    GiBee says

    Can I ask a question about the allergies? What kind of a reaction would you notice? Because often times, I will see a red rash appear on Hunter’s face after he eats something, and I can’t put my finger on what it is that is causing the rash. Do you think that is definately a food allergy? Will they test him at 3? Does it hurt?

  14. 15
    Marci says

    The thought of printing out all my digital pics is very overwhelming! What do I do with them all?! I have mine sorted into years. I think I am just going to put the ones I want to save in printed photobooks. I am so tired of scrapbooking and putting each picture into albums!!!

  15. 16
    Mary Cluley says

    Hello! I have the best solution EVER for photo organization. It is called the Power Sort Box. It is made my Creative Memories. It organizes up to 2400 photos….with room in the lid for large photos. I have 3…one for each child. There is no better way. Especially if you are a young person…every time someone gives you a photo….put it in the Power Sort Box and your whole life will be in chronological order!
    To view go to and then “shop products” then “traditional scrapbooking” then “organizers.” It is called the Power Sort Box. I truly believe it is the best solution ever for photo organization! God bless.

  16. 17
    Heidi says

    I am a digital scrapbooker and I LOVE photobooks. I like to make a bunch of layouts and then make a book when I get a coupon for a good deal.

    There are also a few photo organizing tools for the computer. Adobe PhotoElements, Google Picasa (free), and acdsee all let you TAG your photos and view them by date or subject.

  17. 18
    Heather says

    I am so glad you picked this organizing topic for this month. It is a thorn in my side! Before digital came along, I faithfully had my film developed as I finished each roll and organized them in order in albums. Now that we have gone digital, I am not as organized, and things pile up. I’m good about downloading the pictures but not so good at having them printed. If I do get them printed, then I end up with a pile of unfiled or unsorted pictures. Reorganizing them by date is always a chore because even though kodak gallery does a great job, they come back out of order 🙁 One of the things that bothers me the most is that I have too many albums (like more than 30…) and they take up too much space. I have found that people in my family like having all the pictures from one event in a particular album (such as all the pictures from our trip to St. Croix). Those get looked at a lot more often than just general albums filled with random photos. So I am toying with the idea of using photo boxes (I like the big, black one from Creative Memories) to store them in instead of so many albums. Then I wonder why I would take them out of albums if they are already in albums, and nothing gets done. I used to be so proud of all our photos being organized, and now I am just discouraged. I am probably 300-400 pictures behind on getting them printed, so I just put it off until later. Maybe I should pick a certain day each month to make myself sit down and make sure all photos are downloaded, organized, and ordered from kodak gallery. So I am very interested in what everyone has to say about this topic!

  18. 19
    Jena OrganizingMommy says

    Hi Laura! I’m so glad things are going well with your son. I am trying a new carnival/meme about productivity. I call it: blitz-it Friday. Maybe your readers would enjoy blitzing through something this week?

  19. 20
    Jodie says

    I’m glad to hear your news about your son.
    About the pictures, You can go to (its a free download). It allows you to organize, crop/touch up, share with others,print, burn CD’s from it. Its great.
    Also I agree with Heather about Creative Memories and there photo storage box, Its black to keep the photos safe and you can file them by month or year. Its up to you.
    I keep most of mine on Cd’s and do digital scrapbooking.

  20. 21
    Meshellyn says

    Hi Laura! I wrote about this exact topic this week as I finally have a process I feel I can stick to. I’m at the stage now of needing to print photos and start putting them in albums, but until now I didn’t feel as though I had any of my photos “protected” and now I do.

    You can read about my journey here if you’d like.

    I’m so ready to have family photo albums to display and enjoy for years to come!!!

  21. 22
    Karen L says

    Do photo books have space to add written comments/journaling? Their website wasn’t clear on that and I had trouble trying to send an email question to them. Thanks. I am putting photos in albums so I can write down our family history. My husband and I are older parents and by the time he thinks about asking questions about the past, we will probably be gone.

  22. 23
    Heather S says

    Hi Laura,
    I don’t know how to get in touch with you privately. I’d love to do a guest post on simplifying organizing photos and even the possible next step of getting them into albums and actually enjoying your photos again! Please email me if you’re interested.

  23. 24
    Laura says

    Hi Karen, yes most photobooks (at least Inubook did) offer you the option to add journalling as well if you prefer.

  24. 25
    Angi says

    Congrats on the negative SPT. After the rast, if negative, will you do in office challenges? Egg was huge for us when my 3 littles ones passed it. I am sure that wheat will be a huge pass for you!

  25. 26
    Lynds says

    Genius! I’ve never heard of photobooks before. I’ve been put in charge of wrestling over 4000 photos to decide, print, and put in albums. bah. I’m going to look into the photobooks!

  26. 27
    Adrian says

    This is a very timely post for me. I spent most of the weekend trying to get my 5000 plus paper photos under control. I’ve found a place called Scanmyphotos that will scan them for $50 per 1,000 so I’m going to try that. Then I’m going to take the CD’s I get back and I think I’m going to upload the pictures to Picasa and see if I can get them organized. Eventually, I’d like to start putting them into photo books or digital scrapbooking albums. What a huge job!

    I’ll be interested in whatever solution you can come up with.


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