One Day I’m Going To Get More Organized – The Series

Nov 10

 Oh, you’ve said this before? Well, chin up friends – you’re not alone. Most of the general public is right there with you. Even yours truly. Yep, this highly organized lover of all things neat and tidy has been diagnosed with SDD….”Situational Disorganization Disorder”.

That’s totally not a thing, but let’s go with it.

What is SDD, you ask? It’s the diagnosis for a someone (read = me) that is generally organized and tidy, however they struggle with certain areas / topics. You’re going to see my problem areas today. And I have a hunch where I struggle may be some of the same areas you struggle in as well.

People want to be more organized. And when people ask me how to get going, I suggest taking it one day at a time – one task at a time. It’s all about baby steps, especially if getting organized isn’t something you enjoy doing. It’s all about taking that first step and not overwhelming yourself. What I have found works well, especially when it’s a large area / topic to work through, is putting everything else aside and laser-focusing on one area until it’s done. Period. Don’t overwhelm yourself with many projects / spaces because then you’ll lose the motivation and be left with the same disorganized mess plus more frustration. Who needs that?

Since I self-diagnosed myself with SDD, I’m going to share the topics on my hit list. Many people struggle with what I’m sharing (and more) so this will be an ongoing series…and I’m taking it one task at a time. Appropriately, I’m calling the series “one day I’m going to get more organized”. Which definitely sounds nicer than what I wanted to title the series…”one day I’m going to get my sh@t organized!”. However I have the feeling that’s what we all want to say anyway, right?

My main goal is to focus on one big topic until it’s done – completely – then move on to the next. Then guess what? One day…you WILL be more organized!

Let’s start with the SDD task at the top of my list – all things photo.

Ugh – I know, but don’t be scared and click away! Photos are something that should evoke only happiness, not stress and frustration. Truth is, photos are some of the peskiest little things to keep organized and stay on top of. They are everywhere – stacked on a shelf, stuffed in boxes, sitting on your cell phone, thrown in a drawer, stuck in old yellowing photo albums, on your computer, in the cloud, on an external hard drive, maybe even on 35mm slides that should be transferred.

Hummm, these are sounding familiar to me. Oh, that’s right – because it’s happening in my home!

A huge task I’m tackling during the “one day” series is my photo collection – print and digital. I’ve had it *up to here* and will not continue saying “one day I’ll get to it”. That “one day” is now. Because let’s face it, it won’t get prettier. These images aren’t pretty, but they’re real. The majority of my printed photos are stored away in the guest room closet…

In old yellowing photo albums (my sister hand made these)…

Or in archive photo boxes…

Now I will say, I at least have this going for me. And it seems to be working pretty well, so this may end up being the route I go to organize loose photos. The boxes are labeled and keep the photos safe. If I need a photo, it may take a little time to sift through the box, but I can find it.

In regards to digital photos, my plan is to go through all 25,000 (yes, that’s right!) images on my computer, choose those I want to keep, and get them safely backed up with an online backup company.

I also have wall and table frames that hold prints, but those prints need to be updated. I have a lot of frames and this will be part of my sorting / purging process as well…


These frames have been in 3 different homes. Hopefully this is our forever home, so I’d like to update the collection to match our current taste. It’s also a good practice to buy a frame when you need it and know what size you need. Like you, I’m sure, I fall prey to a good sale at Pottery Barn or Target because the frame is at a good print point. I grab a frame to be used later, but most often they aren’t even used…

Here’s Natalie’s little wall collage (along with her sticker gallery you see off to the right). I love these photos but she’s almost 5. This is an example of my need to update wall frames

I have narrowed down a few spots that could benefit from either print updates or the addition of photos/frames. Areas like the 2 top shelves on either side of the playroom window…


A few photos would look great on the DIY shelving I built…

You can see I already have frames sitting on the shelves, but in true Sam fashion – they are empty. Ha!

There’s a few bare walls in the house that will benefit from this project. I hung this mirror in the entry in order to have something filling the space…

But instead I’m dreaming of an entry table, nice rug, table frames and a wall collage. With the holidays coming and family visiting, I’d love a warm, friendly entry.

Now let’s talk scrapbooking. Another difficult organization topic, right? That little hobby I used to have loads of time for. Ha, not anymore! Project Life is something I’m considering, but won’t pull the trigger until my photos are first organized. Since the office isn’t yet built-out with hidden storage, my scrapbooking accessories and tools have been tucked away in the garage…


My plan is to sort through all of it, decide what I’m doing (sell or donate it / go with Project Life / keep and re-organize it all), and get on with it. No more letting this decision weigh me down. I can guarantee you, whatever my choice…it’s going to be something I know I can keep up with for the long-term. Sadly, I have a feeling scrapbooking won’t be the end result.

Let’s see…what else is in the garage? Oh yes, bins and bins of the kid’s artwork….

In total = 5 bins in the garage and another upstairs in the office. Trust me, I’m very picky about what stays, so it could be a whole lot worse. I’ve been keeping much of what you see because I want to take photos of their art to create books/gifts instead. I’m sure many of you have heard of Artkive and the like by now. I’m leaning into that idea and want to get on top of it while the kids are still relatively young – especially before Natalie heads into Kinder next school year. This project will take a while, but with some time having passed for all 3 of the kids, I may have less emotion attached to some of this artwork.And then there is the mix of things in my office…
Some of this is general disorganization with what I’ve shared above, but it’s also the fact the office doesn’t have a lot of storage. I’ve been tossing the art keeps into the bin you see above and any photos that come into hand are stacked in this bin…
You can see I’m running out of room in that bin and it won’t work much longer. So I need a better system for incoming photos and school artwork.Finally, I’m going to tackle those old family memories on movie reels, VHS tapes and 35mm photo slides. I actually have targeted this project as my #1 starting point. Why? Because (look away family members reading along) I’ve always wanted to transfer these to DVD to give as a Christmas present. And I too want to benefit from the enjoyment and ease of watching the movies or seeing the photos.For years as we moved around, we’ve hauled bins and bins of slides, VHS tapes and movie reels. We always wanted to do the big transfer but it wasn’t ever something on the top of the project list. It was another “one day” task. But with each passing year I worried about deterioration. This clearly isn’t a great way to keep these memories preserved and lucky for us there are services out there to help with the transfer process. But…it takes time. Weeks in fact. So, I deemed this Christmas the year our family will receive these memories as a gift – on DVD.

I found a great company called YesVideo, followed their packaging process, and they now have everything in their possession. In total it will take about 4 weeks. That is why I jumped on the project now – so it will be ready by Christmas. Really excited about this!

You can order through YesVideo directly, but Costco (if you’re a member) offers a better price point on this project – trust me! It gets costly and you’ll want to do whatever you can to save some money. Dropping the reels and VHS tapes was simple. But there was a process to follow for the 35mm slides. It involved boxing them up in groups of 50…


I ended up with 1157 slides…


And I can happily say they are organized in a much smaller solution (I will get these boxes back) and are being transferred to DVD as I type. I can hardly wait to see the reaction on their faces!Now that you’ve seen my big areas of focus, here’s a quick recap of what I’ll be working on and sharing with you over the next several months…

* organizing print photos
* organizing digital photos / backing up at an offsite location
* updating framed prints around the house
* new entry table with table frames and a wall collage
* make a scrapbooking decision and get it organized
* organize the kid’s artwork
* figure out a better incoming solution for photos and artwork
* transfer movie reels, VHS tapes and 35mm slides to DVD (in process now)
If these are some of your “one day” organization projects, I hope you’ll follow along and share your ideas with me! Let’s motivate each other to get it done!
Have a great day!

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  1. Meg says:

    Ohhh, photos!!! I have the same digital photo "storage" issues. Can't wait to hear what online solution you use. 🙂 Good luck on all these issues, I feel your pain!

  2. Sherri says:

    I'm obsessed with organizing and have tackled most areas of my home…EXCEPT…for photos/artwork/scrapbooks, etc. It's overwhelmed me whenever I've thought about handling it, so I'm thrilled you're going to blog about this topic. I'm going to organize right along with you. We are so similar in this area – I have a closet of boxes filled with photos, misc. frames, and tons of printed pictures. I have TONS of digital pics to be organized – I cannot wait to get this all handled!!! I adore your blog!!!

  3. Melissa says:

    Wow! I love this post!

    I struggle with photo organization as well. I have been scrapbooking for the last five years but am always at least two years behind which drives my inner-organization nerd crazy! I don't have kids, nor am I married yet so I'm sure it will only get harder to keep up in the future!

    I am almost done with my VHS to DVD project and did it with a converter I bought online. I hooked my VCR up to my laptop with the converter and then burnt all the DVDs myself. It was very budget-friendly but VERY time consuming!

  4. Lynnsey says:

    I do a Project Life book every year for each of my 3 kids – it's a lot of work but it does calm my mind. I tell myself I am doing it for them, but really it gives me a big peace of mind knowing that their lives are scrapbooked in a way so I won't forget!

    I would recommend Project Life to you because it would be a singular way for you to combine the "school memory book", the artwork, the certificates, the school photos —-into ONE place and one book. If I am looking for memories from my daughter's kindergarten year, I just pull out her kindergarten book and it's all there, I keep her family memories in there too from that year. You could scan all that artwork and make into a photo for her PL book. I also use Artkive and love it for big artwork that they bring home – I do not have bins and bins of saved artwork like you do – it's all on my phone or in very limited cases, in their project life books.

    Hope that is helpful, it is a lot of work but I found it was the solution I needed and I have been doing it since 2012.

  5. One thing I'm doing to get more organized in this area is going through all my digital photo files and organizing them by year. Next, I'm planning to makeep photo books by year through Apple's iPhoto program. If I need to reprint a year, I can easily do it. It forces me to edit down the thousands of photos to pick the best of the best and get rid of the rest. It's almost TOO easy to take pictures these days and we end up taking a lot of "repeat" photos…at least I do. I love the printed photo books bc it may be more costly than a scrapbook, but it's keeping me from buying all those crafting supplies and spending valuable time making it. My goal is to get caught up on these in the next year.

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