The Great Photo Purge Challenge: My Mom's Progress! | From Overwhelmed to Organized: The Great Photo Purge Challenge: My Mom's Progress!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Great Photo Purge Challenge: My Mom's Progress!

I'm working away on a few other projects this week {more on that in the next few weeks!}.  So, while I did go through several albums and purged pictures I no longer want to keep, I don't have a lot to show you.

Instead, I thought this week I would share with you the progress my mom is making with her printed pictures!

My mom actually started going through her printed pictures in August, before I started the printed photos part of the Great Photo Purge Challenge.  She was inspired by the tips I shared in July for purging digital photos and didn't want to wait until September to start purging her printed photos.

I love it when people take on challenges on their own!

Next spring, my parents will be downsizing from a large detached home to a 2 bedroom condo, so to prepare for the move they've been purging a lot of things in their home this year.  Next on my mom's list was her photo collection.

Good thing too!  When my mom counted all her photo albums, she was surprised to find she had 44 of them!!  And some of them are really large.  All in all, that's a lot of pictures.

Here are some of her albums:

The first two piles are travel albums, with pictures from various vacations my parents or our family have taken over the years.  The last pile is all family albums.

Most of my mom's photo albums were stored in cupboards or on shelves.  Like these albums:

Some of her albums are looked at regularly.  Like the more recent albums with pictures of all her grandchildren {pictured above and on shelves in her living room}.  But some of her older albums are hardly ever touched.  Mom decided to start with those because she thought it would be easier to purge older pictures than those of her grandchildren.

She had previously scanned some of her very old family pictures, as part of a family history project with her brothers and sister.  Since she had digital copies of these pictures, and since many of them were now discoloured or deteriorating, she purged a lot of them.

Tip from my mom:   "When I scanned my old, discoloured photos I found that I could play with the colouring in my photo editing software and fix them up a bit.  Now they're even better than they were originally!"

Besides old pictures that were previously scanned, my mom purged the following kinds of pictures:

  • Scenic pictures taken on vacations to places that they've since visited many times (they don't really need pictures to remind them of those places anymore or they have newer pictures that are better quality than these older ones.)
  • Pictures of people they are no longer in touch with
  • Blurry pictures
  • Over-exposed or under-exposed pictures
  • Discoloured pictures

Here's my mom's purge pile after some of her work.

She has eliminated over 400 photos!  {That's the pile in the middle of the table}  She also emptied several albums and is getting rid of a stack of sticky photo pages, photo corner pages, and plastic insert pages.  She also purged several albums.  And the empty binder style albums can be repurposed as pretty binders.

Another tip from my mom:  "If you're going through pictures in those older sticky paged albums, you may find some of your photos won't come off easily.  Did you know you can use a hair dryer to remove them from the sticky backing?  I tried it and it works!"

One of my mom's albums was full of old portraits of my brothers and I.  She wasn't sure what to do with them, but decided to scan them later (after she finishes going through her albums).  She doesn't need them in 5x7 or 8x10  or 11x14 format anymore, because she won't be displaying them around the house.  But she wants to be able to look at them from time to time, so scanning is a good solution.  She'll have the flexibility to display them in a digital frame or include them in digital photo albums or even print them again if she chooses to.

In the meantime, she is gathering them in plastic page protectors (one for each of us).  You can see them in front of the albums in this picture.

When she's ready to scan these portraits, she can take each page protector and scan the photos grouped inside and they'll be all together.  The facial recognition software on her laptop will automatically put the appropriate pictures in each of our folders on her computer.  So simple!

One of my mom's travel photo albums was from a trip to Europe that my parents and my youngest brother took.  She found a travel diary my brother wrote, along with some souvenirs from the trip.  She's not a scrapbooker, but for that vacation she put together kind of a combination scrapbook/photo album.  Since this trip was special to my brother, and he's still interested in keeping the album, she's not going to purge it.  Those are his memories as much as hers.

Last tip from my mom:  It's always good to check with family members before you throw out photos that hold memories for them.  You never know what they may want to keep :)

Once she's finished purging, my mom plans to combine the photos she's keeping into a few albums.  This will save her a lot of space!  {She's already done even more purging since these pictures were taken!}

I'm really happy my mom jumped in and started to tackle her photo albums.  Many people struggle with purging photos, but my mom's thinking was that she didn't want to burden my brothers and I with having to deal with all these photos down the road.  I appreciate that!

I hope you enjoyed this peek into someone else's photo purging efforts!  I will be back next week with an update on my progress.

And come back tomorrow for tips on how you can organize the photos you've decided to keep.  Plus I'll share ideas for how to store your pictures!
Here are all the posts in the series.

How many photo albums do you have?  Are you surprised at the number?  What kinds of pictures have you been purging this week?  What photos have you decided to keep?

Happy organizing!

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