Day 21: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 21: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge
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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Day 21: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge




Got a lot of photos? Do you want to be able to enjoy your pictures instead of having to search and search to find your favourites? Does the thought of tackling your photo collection seem so overwhelming that you keep putting it off? Me too!

That's why this month I'm hosting the 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge! Each day I'll share tips to help you declutter your photo collection so you can really treasure and enjoy all the best ones. And I'll share my progress as I declutter my photos along with you :)

Today I'm talking about creating photo books from your digital pictures.


Today's Photo Decluttering Tip - Create Photobooks From Your Digital Pics


One of the main reasons to declutter and organize your photo collection is to be able to enjoy your favourite pictures more. A great way to do that is creating photobooks. Here are a few reasons why I love photobooks:

  • You can include lots of pictures
  • They only take up a small footprint on your shelves (especially compared to the big clunky old photo albums!)
  • Photobooks allow you to be very creative with themes, various sized pictures, backgrounds, and text
  • You can make multiple copies of a photobook for various members of your family for the same amount of work as only one book (compared to how much extra time it took to create multiple photo albums the old fashioned way)
  • Photobooks can be shared digitally as well as printed so you can share them with friends anywhere in the world without any additional effort or expense
  • Downloading your pics to the site where you create the album is essentially creating an online backup
  • Photobooks are fun to look through and can be passed down to family members for years to come.

So many great reasons! And here's one more... they look beautiful :) 

I've created a few photobooks and I love the flexibility to do whatever you want. Sometimes I put lots of little related pictures on one page and other times I just put one or two large photos. Some pages I have text (captions, details, event info, etc.) and others just let the photos do the talking.


How To Make A Photobook


If you've never made a photobook and feel overwhelmed at the thought of it, let me break it down for you. 



Decide what you want your photobook to be about. Is it a wedding album? A graduation book? An annual family book? Decide on the overall "era" or event your book will represent. Then gather your favourite photos from that era or event for your photobook. I usually copy them into a temporary folder as I gather them so I can see what I have.



Next you're going to organize the pages you want in the photobook. If you're doing an annual family book you may want each set of 2 pages to represent a month of the year. If you're creating a vacation book you could have a few pages for each place you went or special activity you enjoyed. Planning out what you want to do for each page of your book makes the process less overwhelming :)



Once you've gathered your photos and planned the pages of you photobook, you'll download all your pictures that you plan to include. Sometimes I'll include some "maybes" as well so I can play around a bit when I'm putting the book together.




This is the fun part! Choose from a variety of layouts for each page. Pick backgrounds that will highlight your pictures. Some programs have an option to auto-populate your pages with photos which can speed up the process, depending on how you want to organize your pages. I don't usually use this setting though because I find it quicker to put the photos in myself and know that they're on the right pages right away, rather than moving them around. Either way, arrange your pictures on the pages you want them and play around with where to put them. Add text if you want at this point too.


Depending on the software you use to create your photobook, everything up to this point may have been done offline. If that's the case then now you will upload your photobook.




Take some time to edit your photobook online. You can preview what your pages will look like and that sometimes helps to decide if you need to add more pictures, take some out, or move things around.




Next you'll want to take a bit of time to look at everything very carefully to make sure it's exactly what you want. Check for any spelling errors in your text. If you can get some other eyes on your photobook that helps too. They'll see things you don't because you've been looking at every detail for awhile.




After you've fully proofed your book, you're ready to order! You can usually choose from a variety of paper types, cover styles, etc. If you're in a big hurry you can rush order your delivery too. You can order multiple copies at this point too. They make great gifts for friends and family!




And then comes the best part... enjoying your new photobook! It's so great thumbing through those pages when it arrives and seeing the fruits of your labour :)  I can't wait to create several photobooks after I finish decluttering all my pictures!


Where You Can Create Photobooks


Note: this section contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission if you purchase after clicking on one of them. There's no extra cost to you and it helps cover some of the expenses of running this blog. Thanks :)

Here are some options you can check out for creating photobooks:

  • Earlier in this series I mentioned that I've used Blurb. They just finished their 40% off deal, but they frequently have specials which really helps keep the costs down if you have lots of books you're creating. You can create a photobook at any time and then just order it when there's a special you want to take advantage of. 




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  • Another site you can use is Mixbook. I haven't used them yet, but I plan to use them for my next photobook. I'll take advantage of their offer for new customers



Have fun creating photobooks to help you enjoy all your special memories!


My Photo Decluttering Progress


I had one large photo album left to go through and today I took out ALL the pictures and started going through them. I didn't quite finish the huge stack, but I decluttered 178 pictures, which was a record 70% of the photos I went through today! I went to a lot of weddings during the timeframe represented in this album and I took a LOT of pictures at each one. I chose a few pictures of each wedding and tossed the rest.




I also decluttered an envelope full of negatives. I will work on the rest of the stack next. The 70% today helped bring my overall average up to 58%. I'm nearly finished my printed (pre-digital) photos!


Your Turn!


Today your task is to explore several photobook sites and decide which one you want to start with. There are lots of other ones besides the ones I listed here too. Decide which photobook you want to create first and begin to plan it out. Let me know if you have any questions. I'm happy to help you through the process!




If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.



How are you doing in the 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge so far? How do you think today's tip will help you? What photos are you decluttering today? Have you created photobooks before? Which site do you prefer using? What kinds of books do you like to create?

Happy decluttering and organizing!






Here are the rest of the posts in this challenge:




6 comments:

  1. I love the photo book idea. We started making them after each of our vacations as the children grew up, and we keep them all in a stack in our family room. It surprises me how, even now as adults, my girls will still grab those when they come home and look at them. It isn't that the digital photos aren't available, but there is something about holding a book that is very appealing!

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    1. What a great idea Seana! And I agree that sometimes a physical book is nicer to flip through than digital photos. That's really neat that your adult children still enjoy looking through them :)

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  2. I can think of another benefit of photo books versus photo albums. People (including myself) have been known to remove photos from albums, whether to give to someone else or otherwise, leaving gaps. Later, we might fill that gap with any old loose photo, that may represent a totally different time and place, so even a carefully curated album can end up being a random collection .

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    1. Oh I never even thought of that aspect Janet! I should have because as I've been going through my old albums I do find some random gaps and some out of place photos popped in. Photobooks definitely would limit that and keep to the theme or chronology they're designed to!

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  3. Last year, we received a coupon to make a free photo book for each of the kids. So, instead of scrapbooking that school year, I had them make a photo book of activities for the school year. they were even able to create the cover. It was a great keepsake.

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    1. That's so fun Sabrina! I bet they will really appreciate those photobooks even more because they were involved in creating them.

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I love hearing from my readers! This is a great place to ask questions, answer questions, and share your organizing tips. Thank you so much for commenting! I look forward to getting to know you better :)