Now that you have your pictures all sorted we need to do something with them.  Your challenge this week is to print some of those photos, or order prints.  There are many online printing places that offer reasonable prices, just watch the shipping.  I print most of my own at home but I often print many at once because it’s just easier that way and then I have them ready to scrap whenever I need them.

Your challenge this week is to backup all those photos that you now have organized.  I can tell you from experience that one if the worst feelings is the one you have when you think you have lost all your photos.  There are many options here – online storage, CDs, external harddrive, etc.  Whatever you chose, make a point to do it this week.  It will give you peace of mind and there may come a time when you will be very glad you did this.

Because it can be time consuming to organize all your digital photos, your challenge this week is to continue with this project from last week.  As you are going through your pictures don’t be afraid to delete some of the unnecessary ones – duplicates, many of the same shot, poor lighting, eyes closed, and just plain bad pictures.  When we switch to digital we often end up taking way more pictures than we need in hopes of getting the perfect shot – just keep the good one (or a couple) and delete the rest.

Today we will start a 4-week segment on getting those photos ready for your scrapbooks.  These days most of us have switched to digital photography and that’s what this is all about.  With that change comes a need for more organization.  It’s very easy to let those photos pile up and get out of control and it becomes impossible to find what you are looking for when you need it.  Your challenge this week is to find a system that works for you for sorting those photos on your computer and to begin to use it.  When I first started I used a folder system with main folders like family/friends, and folders beneath those for each person.  For that last couple years I have been using Adobe Photoshop Elements.  There are many to chose from so I encourage you to shop around but I have been very happy with this program.  I now have my photos automatically sorted by date and red-eye removed when they are imported into the program.  My work is to “tag” each photo.  I will say it takes time if you are starting with 1000+ photos but once you get your initial ones posted it’s just a matter of keeping up.  I have people, places, and event tags.  So a vacation picture of my family would be tagged with each family member and Walt Disney World (or wherever we went).  What I love about this is as I am doing a scrapbook for one child I just click on their name and it separates out all the photos with that child in them.  This also comes in handy if a relative asks “do you have any photos of Grandpa?”  I just click on Grandpa’s name and it shows all the photos with him in them.  This can be done for multiple people as well.  If I want pictures of my entire family I select all of them and it will give me the pictures with everyone.  The timeline allows me to go to any date quickly.  See what’s out there, pick something that will work for you, and get started!

You know those storage bins that we use for the kid’s toys and stuff?  Why not use them for our scrap supplies?  The one pictured below is a smaller version than what you normally see but the larger ones would work too.  I got tired of the bright colors and wanted something that fit my room better.  I bought some spray paint that is especially for plastics.  There is no prep work, just spray and let dry.  You can find it at your local hardware store.  I used two cans for this project.  I love the new brown color and I have not had any problems with the paint coming off.

Here is a before picture of the bins on my scrapbooking desk (yellow/pink/blue in the center) and it also gives you a better idea of their size:

I use these bins to hold chalks, acrylic blocks, stamps, tags, foam brushes, adhesive, and lots of other things.  Your challenge for this week is to find something in your scrapbook room that needs to be organized and come up with a way that works for you.  Don’t organize all your supplies, just pick one thing.  Once you have that one thing organized, focus on keeping it that way.  Then it will be time to move on….baby steps!!  If you need help with something specific or would like ideas on a organizing a particular supply, leave me a comment and I will post at least one idea for you!