Delightfully Organized Digital Photos

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Psst! I’m so happy that this post was re-blogged on Nostalgic Image Photo News. For all the readers who’ve discovered my blog from there, welcome! Many thanks to Dawn Ainsworth from Nostalgic Images for taking the time to share.

10,000 photos.

Yes, you read that correctly. That’s the number of photos I deleted off of my hard drive when I initially started organizing my digital photo collection. It’s amazing how much we take our digital storage space for granted. It doesn’t seem like a lot on a massive hard drive (after all, it takes up no physical space to us) but unloading 10,000 photos still felt like unloading some kind of psycho-RAM. It freed up all sorts of space on my hard drive for more things that I love, made my computer run faster, and most importantly, it brought me one step closer to having a beautifully organized digital photo collection that I can treasure and share with my family and friends.

The argument for an organized digital photo collection is compelling, but the task itself appears pretty daunting. Unless you rarely take photos, this will not be the type of task that can be completed in just one afternoon. Plan on spreading out your project into bite-sized chunks that can be carried out over a period of time, depending on how much you have available.

Before you do anything, make sure you have some method of backing up your files- discs, thumb drives, external hard drives, clouds, whatever. You should always, always, always have an alternate means of backing up any kind of precious digital data in the event that is somehow lost. Data recovery can be costly and is not always 100% guaranteed. Don’t worry about making it look pretty- you can always replace your old files with your pretty, organized ones later.

The most organized system is an intuitive one, so it’s important to consider how you will peruse your photo collection once it’s been completely organized. You may want to group your photos by date, by subject matter, by event, or a combination of all of the above. It’s best to start with a strategy in mind so that the way your current and future photos are stored is simple, convenient and consistent. Disregard any advice that doesn’t fit into your methodology. Don’t have a mind for numbers? Sort your photos in folders according to subject matter. Try to be specific and concise as possible with your sorting strategy. A search through a folder of photos marked simply “Grandma” can seem daunting, but a folder named “Grandma’s 80th Birthday Party” is explanatory enough that you can find the photo you’re looking for- even if the files inside are not meticulously labeled.

Start by sorting through your most recent photos first (they’re the freshest in your mind!) and use them to establish a method of uploading all of your photos on your computer and filing them on a regular basis. Resist the urge to dump new photos in a general photo until you get around to filing them later! Remember those 10,000 photos?

Yeah, I’m never doing that again.

KBwB-BFlower-50Have an organizing dilemma or a brilliant organizing solution? Share it with me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or on Twitter. For a constantly growing list of organization inspiration and other ways to keep busy, click here. And if you’re looking for some serious eye-candy, my Pinterest addiction has me filling boards with houses too pretty for their own good.

How to Store Summer Shoes for the Winter

KBB_storing_summer_shoes_1I love fall for many reasons, but one of my least favourite things to do during this season is say good-bye to what I consider to be a pretty fabulous shoe collection. Even though an ex used to tease me that I have feet like Frodo (he often asked me how I enjoyed my trip to Mordor), I love wearing sandals because of all the beautiful bright colors and funky styles.

Eventually it comes to the point where peep-toes become unacceptable, so it’s time to put away my summer shoes for the winter. Usually I do this when I’m switching from my spring/summer wardrobe to my fall/winter wardrobe.

KBB_storing_summer_shoes_2I first prep my shoes for storage by wiping them down with a barely damp cloth or paper towel to try and rid them of some of the dirt and grime that have built up over the summer. Then I zip zippers and do up buckles and place them on a sheet of newspaper where I spray them with an all-purpose protector spray. You can usually find these at any place that sells shoes. Depending on the brand you need to let those puppies dry for about 1 hour. Make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area because that stuff stinks!

For shoes that are made of real leather I go the extra mile to use a bit of mink oil to protect and condition my shoes to make them last longer. Before using, test on a small, barely visible area in case it darkens the leather. I have found, however, that this is usually only temporary.

For those of you who have never used mink oil before, less is more, otherwise you’re going to find yourself oilier than take-out fish and chips. Squirt a small amount onto a paper towel or rag and rub into the shoe, working with small areas at a time. Use a second paper towel or rag to wipe off any excess.

Let the mink oil cure on your shoes for a couple of hours before storing. I store mine in clear plastic, stackable shoeboxes that fit on the top shelf of my closet perfectly.

This would also be the perfect time to give those boots a little loving before wearing them this season. Spray them down and oil them up and they’ll be in good shape for the rest of the season.

I’m always sad to say good-bye to my summer shoes but let’s face it- there’s are a lot of cute boots out this season too.

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Do a creative way of stashing your shoes away for the winter? Write me at keepingbusywb@gmail.com or comment below. For more organizing ideas that aren’t quite as fabulous as your shoes (but let’s face it, are almost just as good), visit my busy page.