Sorting and Organizing Photos - My Goal for 2015

I mentioned that I'm reading Japanese writer, Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I'm an avid purger and simplifier, but I needed an extra kick in the pants before the flurry of new stuff comes with Christmas.

The message of the book is to tidy up "in one go", not a little everyday because you will be tidying forever says Kondo. The idea is to clean right, one time over the course of a few weeks or months. This way you catch a vision for order that enables you to actually change your habits and keep your home tidy. Behind all this tidying is the method of discard, discard, discard. We all have too much stuff!

The question Marie asks when deciding whether to keep an item or not is "Does this spark joy?"

Isn't that great? I love that.

* I don't think Marie has children ;) So, I'm reading this book with a grain of salt (or a saltshaker of salt), taking what works for me and leaving what doesn't.

One of my favorite parts of the book was about dealing with photographs. When sorting photos, Marie asks her standard question "Does it spark joy?" about each photograph.

My photos have been piling up on my computer since 2009. I have had so much angst about how to organize them and which ones to print. I once attempted to create photo books, but then got so overwhelmed I've resorted back to regular old photo albums.

So, a big New Year's goal of mine is to sort photos and have them printed in 2015. Before reading this book, I probably would have seen these photos below as ones I'd unlikely print.

But with my new question "Does it spark Joy?" I can boldly say YES and keep blurry crayons, over exposed children on a picnic table, Hello Kitty, and my Tuesday night supper being breathed on by my son.

I'm actually a little excited to tackle photo albums in 2015, feeling joy and not dread! And it's funny how even pictures of inanimate objects spark joy because they remind me of our everyday, ordinary life.


Here is my inspiration post by Soule Mama for how I'm going to FINALLY get my my photos in order. I absolutely love how she prints them with the white boarder.


Also, I use Costco to do all my printing. I think they do a fabulous job.


How do you organize your photos? Are you up to date? Does it stress you out?


  1. Each year I create a family yearbook with that year's best photographs using My Publisher. I got the idea originally from Young House Love blog. I used to make scrapbooks, but this is sooooo much simpler, less cluttery (no more scrapbook paper and doo dads) and they look so nice on my bookshelf. I add a page at the very end and list the year's highlights.

  2. SB, you're singing my song…lighting my fire! YES, I'm also so overwhelmed by pictures. I start so many photo books and end up losing sight…and ultimately not ordering. I did find a FAST online photo book site that I'm loving. It uploads pictures from your computer *and* Instagram. I have way more pics of my kids on my iPhone than computer. And I've decided that's okay. :) I'm totally on board with keeping pics that evoke a memory/emotion. Who cares if it's not perfect. (Rant: Because I have a photography business, I think relatives sometimes expect LOTS of glorious pictures of the kids. So much pressure. Typically, at the end of the day, my little in-the-moment, blurry, off-centered iPhone pictures bring me so much more joy. That's life, you know! Thanks so much for posting this. I'm high-fiving you from my couch this morning.

  3. ugh, I really want to be more systematic in my approach to photos. Currently, I upload them on my computer and there they stay. At the end of the year, I back them up on Shutterfly. And that's it. I want to do more!! Inspiring post, thank you.


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