- Sign up for our course: The Essentials Guide
- Download our free Organising Cheat Sheet
- Check out our latest videos on TikTok!
- Little Home Organised is now on YouTube!
Hello and welcome I am Bonnie, and I am Lily, and this is Little Home Organised, the PodCast dedicated to helping you declutter, get organized, and reclaim time for the things you love.
LILY: Bonnie should go first because mine is probably worse; how many, how many photos Bon?
BONNIE: Well, traveled
LILY: Traveled, yeah
BONNIE: Well, you are well, traveled
LILY: Yeah, well reasonably, clutter confession has to be yours, not someone else’s.
BONNIE: Ahh yes
LILY: Don’t go dobbing in your partners or your kids
BONNIE: Yeah, we get a few of those, don’t we?
BONNIE: Hello and welcome. This week we are talking about photo organization; we are going to talk about different ways photos can be stored, how to digitize your photos so you can share them with loved ones worldwide, and why creating an organized photosystem is well worth the initial time investment.
LILY: You know Bonnie, I think the biggest issue with photos that probably everyone could attest to at the moment is that we so many especially when it comes to our iPhones or our smartphones we are just so snap happy, like the other day, actually yesterday I took some polaroids of a friend, and we were so intentional about every shot that we took because you know it is like expensive to print the film, but on your iPhone or your device, when you take a photo, you can take as many as you like, an absolute best favorite one and then delete the others right, but what happens is we are so busy, and we don’t delete the others and before we know it we have 1000 duplicates, so if you are listening to this Podcast and you have access to your phone, and you are not driving check it, go in, open your photo app and see how many thousand photos you have because I bet there are more photos in there then you know what to do with.
BONNIE: I agree, and this is like such a key issue for a lot of our clients at Little Miss Organised and I have done so much digital organization this year, and it has mainly revolved around how do I organize my photos because people are just so overwhelmed, but before we get into today’s episode we have a little competition that we should share with people.
LILY: Yeah, competition time
BONNIE: No one could see anything; I mean, if they are not listening, if they are not watching it on YouTube, it was just radio silence.
LILY: Know that my arms were very excitedly in the air.
LILY: But Bonnie, tell the listeners about our competition.
BONNIE: Okay, so we have got an amazing competition where you can win one of three $50 Howard Storage World vouchers, and all you need to do to get an entry into that competition is send us an audio file of your listener question or your clutter confession, and for every clutter confession or every listener question you send in you will get an extra entry into the draw and if you are thinking what is a clutter confession, what is a listener question, well a clutter confession is where you confess something weird, wacky or wonderful that you have kept, we have had lots of things over the last 50, or so episodes, where it could be anything from you, know baby hospital bracelets, to animal skulls to paraphernalia for a sporting team, what is it that you have kept and is really sentimental to you but is maybe a little bit strange for someone else.
LILY: And the listener question is basically any question you have for us about helping with decluttering or organizing your home, something particular to a particular space in your house. Try and keep it specific, and we will do our best to answer your listener’s question on an upcoming episode.
BONNIE: Okay, so that is our competition, and that is going to run until the end of July, so make sure that you head over to our Facebook page and send us your audio file, clutter confession, or your listener questions.
LILY: Okay, Bonnie, so I think it is absolutely fitting, we are obviously going to be talking about photos in their physical form and their digital form, but I am interested to know how many digital photos are in your main album, your big album on your iPhone, can you check it for me right now? And for those of you who are listening and Bonnie and I normally record together, but today just because of the way life has happened, she is actually up the coast, and I am back down here in Brissie, and so we are doing this recording over zoom which feels just really fitting so I can’t actually tell if she is going to be telling you the truth or not, but I will go first because actually, no Bonnie should go first because mine is probably worse, how many photos Bon?
BONNIE: Okay, so there’s 3111 photos and 748 videos.
LILY: Oh awesome, I am really curious; for those of you listening at home, jump into the Little Home Organised community group and let us know how many photos you have got. I have 7044, 7044 too many if you ask me, and then I have because I do so many TikTok videos; how many videos do you think I have, Bonnie?
BONNIE: Ah, probably almost as many
BONNIE: Wow, wow
LILY: Yeah, lots of videos, lots of videos and that lots of space being chewed up on my phone with photos that I couldn’t even tell you are in there, and that’s what happens, we end up with so many photos spread out everywhere, it is like the old thing we always say about if everything is special nothing is special, great lots of photos, lots of memories. Awesome, but if you don’t have them in an organized system and you can’t just like scan through and enjoy those memories, you end up sitting there and swiping through 7 versions of the same photo where people are pulling slightly different faces, you can’t decide which one you are going to keep and then you are like, oh I will get back to that, and we don’t because we are busy and we can’t be bothered so today’s episode is going to be great if you can related to any of the above.
BONNIE: I think the first thing that I see is the problem when it comes to our digital photos and our smartphones and our devices is that it is so easy to just hold that button down and it takes a whole series of shots for us, and then you are right, we don’t go back and spend that time actually deleting the bad ones, they just kind of stay there and then all of a sudden life goes on, and you know 6 or 12 months later our phone says you know you are out of storage like you have got to upgrade or whatever and it is like ohhh now I have to go through and do some decluttering of my photos. Whereas in the first place, we were intentional, like you were saying with the polaroid then we wouldn’t actually have to go back and kind of double handle and go through and delete all the dodgy ones.
LILY: Yeah, doing it at the time is a really cool habit, and then it means that it is not going to be as big of an issue at the end when you are suddenly having to spend a few hours trawling through photos.
BONNIE: And you know digital is not the only way to organize photos, and I am sure there are a lot of people listening to this episode who has still got lots of hard copy photos and would like to know how to organize them, so let’s have a quick kind of run-through of what are the other ways that we can actually store our photos.
LILY: Well, first things first is the traditional photo album, right
BONNIE: Yeah, absolutely
LILY: In fact, our parents are downsizing, and they just started offloading a bunch of photos back to us as they get ready for smaller living, and yeah, we all had an album each that documented kind of our childhood
BONNIE: I think I had four
LILY: And then different photos that were in frames on their walls that they have decided to pass back onto us now as well, yeah so lots of physical photos in photo albums and in photo frames and photo frames are great like I think even in the age of digital it is nice to have things in frames or up on your wall because that’s where you get to physically see those beautiful memories everyday.
BONNIE: Yeah, and one of the things we do in our family, we have a digital frame for my husband and every, it sits in the garage, and every fathers day I update it with more recent photos of our kids, and you know it just scrolls through these couple of 100 photographs all the way back from when they were babies and stuff, and it is on permanently, and he loves it like it is something that really lights up his day when he is pottering around in the garage because you know men don’t get to do that all that often sometimes when they are busy dads with young families and working a lot but he just absolutely loves being able to just have those photos scrolling through on a regular basis and kind of reminiscing while he is pottering around, you know doing his lord knows what sorting screws and stuff like they tend to do.
LILY: I think another one if you are really crafty and you are old school, similar to a photo album is you might be storing some of your photos in like a scrapbooking style
BONNIE: Yeah, like creative memories or something like that, I remember doing learning to do that when I was a teenager, mum was getting into it, and so she took me along, and at that time our grandpa had just turned 75, and so the very first page that I scrapbooked was a celebration for his 75 birthday, and I did a whole bunch as a teenager like I probably ended up doing you know maybe 40 pages or something, but I could not imagine the time spent to do that now like there is just no way.
LILY: There are just so many photos
BONNIE: Yeah, it is just, and because now that we are taking photos on digital devices rather than having photos that are automatically printed out, I mean this is 20 years ago like it was so much easier to have those photos, you picked them up from the shop, and you know you would roll of developed photos and then you could scrapbook them but now because they are digital you have to go to that extra effort of printing them or going to the shop to get them printed and then scrapbooking them, and I just think oh I just don’t have the time and also I don’t go back and look at them once they are scrapbooked either.
LILY: Yeah, isn’t that interesting? We have a few photo books from our honeymoon and some of our earlier travels, occasionally they are in my like blanket box with the intention of eventually being coffee table books, but they are very rarely looked at, but when I do, I like the way it is like really intentional, you open it up, and it is like these are the key moments from that trip all in one place, and I can share this with friends when they come over if they are like oh what was like when you were in Canada. What was it like when you were in the States, what was it like when you were in New Zealand, what was it like on your honeymoon in Europe, or whatever it was? Oh my goodness, I sound so like
BONNIE: World traveled
LILY: Travelled, yeah.
BONNIE: Well, you are well-traveled
LILY: Yeah, well reasonably, it is just like a really cool way to be like hey yeah, you can just like flick through this and share my experience a little more user friendly perhaps and we will jump into this next, I am sure, is comparing you know hard copy and digital, but the thing that I like about like a photobook like that is it is so nice to then sit down and open it compared to me being like oh like hey you can sit down on my computer and open my computer file and look through my photos from that trip, it is like a bit more user-friendly like to share that experience in a way, I definitely think that is a perk of the photobook, we could talk about that, let’s talk about the pros and cons.
BONNIE: Yeah definitely, I think in terms of photobooks it is funny because I was just thinking I love the idea of photobooks and for particular trips and things like that it is really good but I know I have seen so many photo books where people have just because you can choose whatever photos you want to go in there, there are some photographs that you choose at the time and you think they are really funny or they represent a great memory and then you look back on them 5 years later and you go why did I take that photo, why is that photo in the photobook like you weren’t all the intentional about which ones you actually picked out and I think with things like scrapbooking and the big life journal and even the photobooks, we can kind of put ourselves into a rut where we feel like we have to do it, like say you start with baby number one, doing a photobook for every year of their life, I mean that, when does that stop, does it stop when they are 18 does it stop when you get to baby number 3 and you just don’t have the time anymore, I think sometimes we really need to set ourselves up for success rather than setting up these kind of perfectionistic expectations that we really just can’t manage when life gets busy.
LILY: The other thing I think about with physical copies of photos versus digital copies of photos is both require really organised right, if you want to have a bunch of digital photos ideally you have them backed up somewhere and you have them sorted and categorised in a way that it is really easy to just open a folder and see all the folders within it and navigate to the photo that you are looking for, the trip you are looking for, the memories you are looking for and your physical photos need to be like that as well and I think what can often happen is you get really excited about an event and the memories that are made and we take lots of happy snaps, be it digital or then getting them printed and we then have to do the next step otherwise it becomes chaotic and that is putting them all into some kind of system digitally or some kind of system physically and I think what can often happen and I am sure you can attest to this from your personal experience with professional organising, so many families for like 10 years is that you can end up with a huge pile of like the old Kodak little sleeves that have all the originals like in it and they haven’t made it to the next destination of being organised in a photo album or a scrapbooking of anything like that and so what I find so interesting about both of those situations is when we don’t do that final step and getting things organised you can’t actually enjoy the memories the way we had hoped to by getting them printed or taking the photo in the first place. Like how could it possibly be easy to navigate those memories when you have piles of physical photos that you still need to sort. How can that be? How can you goes through those memories when you have a folder that you open that has 10,000 plus digital photos that are of amazing memories that you would love to like look back on, but there is no easy way to like navigate through that, and yeah, I just think it is so important photo organization, it is one of those things that photos are a way to capture the essence of life and yet some of us, and myself included we are not doing a really great job of getting that organized, whether it is digital in some cases or whether it is physical in some cases. It becomes, I am on a rant now, but it is, I will admit it, it snowballs, and it becomes like a bigger and bigger issue, and I think it is one of those decluttering areas where it can really feel like I don’t even know where to begin with that, that has gotten so big, and I am overwhelmed.
BONNIE: And I think that’s if we are moving onto you know digital versus hard copy that is one of the real benefits of digital is that there are so many programs and like say you are an apple phone user, they will automatically create slideshows for you based upon your photos if you want them to, or particular folders or photos, so that way those photos are then getting circulated and seen a lot more easily rather than you having to manually flick through them, now the flip side of that is you do not want any inappropriate photos to show up on your computer in front of your children or your you know in-laws or at a work function or something like that, so you have to be careful about what photos are obviously in there but I think when it comes to doing slideshows and things like that having them digital is so much easier and you know whether it is you know a silver wedding anniversary or a funeral or you know a wedding, it is so easy to put together those slideshow of photographs when they are already digitised because it is just literally you know a drag and paste sort of thing and I just, I mean I am very pro digital if you couldn’t tell already but I have really enjoyed over the last few years finding all my hard copy photos and actually getting them digitised and then being able to organise them and view them and share them with people worldwide and that is probably one of the best things about the whole digitising thing as well, if you have got people over in another country, loved ones that you want to share particular memories with, like we have relatives in Holland who have come over and done trips around Australia and we have done road trips with them and stuff and you want to be able to share those photos with each other and have them download the ones that are important to them and things like that, then you can do that so much more easily with digital stuff because with a hard copy you have to pretty much you know get a second set printed and that can get expensive and then it can get wasteful especially if they’re a photograph that that person doesn’t actually really want to keep.
LILY: Yeah well you touched on something important there too, money right you pay to print photos and you don’t really pay with your phone unless you have so many on there that you need to upgrade your storage, I was just thinking as well like another real cool perk of going digital is that if you trying to finally get organised there are programs, apps and things that you can upload your photos into and it helps identify duplicates and things like that, so like there are these sorting systems that you can kind of take advantage of and I am sure they have some flaws as well but like it is really cool like we live in the digital age, like there are systems out there that help you get on top of your photos when they are digital and I think while there are perks to both, digital just makes sense, I think physically holding photos and looking at photos in my opinion will always be a part of our life and I think it should be like there is something about you know the sensory experience of touching and holding a photo and I think we can do that when it comes to you know having a few photo frames around the house and like that but for the most part I think going digital is a really positive way to engage with these memories and to get things organised and be able to access those memories really fast and easy, so I think we should talk about how to get those photos digital but maybe we should take a break.
BREAK – YOU’VE GOT MAIL…..
BONNIE: So we are talking about how to digitize your photos now and you can do this yourself, or you can outsource it, that is really it comes down to there is 2 different ways that you can do it, and I have done both, I tend to when I have found a bulk load of hard copy photos I have tended to outsource them then because the money that I invest in that is well worth me saving that time of having to do it myself but when it comes to like individual photos that I might come across and especially creations and things that my kids have done that I want to scan and upload into the files I will actually do that myself so we will talk about both ways and the pros and cons of each because I think there is room for both to kind of have you know a foot in the door. A lot of people will feel like they have to buy a particular photo scanner, or they have to buy, you know, a flatbed scanner that you can feed automatically through and things like that to scan their photos in, but that is just not the reality anymore.
LILY: Yeah, there are plenty of apps out there now that you can use to scan your photos using your phone.
BONNIE: What do you use to scan photos into your phone? What app do you use?
LILY: So I use dropbox or google drive if I want to take a photo of a physical photo and then just scan it straight in, and there is also, you can even scan through I think even your notes app you can take photos now too on your iPhone, like more and more apps are like having good quality scanning features. I think something maybe to be mindful of is potentially one of those scanning printers or having it done professionally means that you may get a higher quality photo; I am not 100% sure, but the quality photos that I seem to have just using my iPhone I am fine with, I am not blowing them up to be a billboard, so maybe they would become a bit pixelated at that point, but yeah they work fine just using those kinds of apps like Dropbox or Google drive.
BONNIE: And I guess the best thing about those apps is you know it is a portable device you can just have it on your phone, you don’t need to have this bulky photo scanner or printer in your home to be able to scan those photos in and you can muck around with the settings, so you can make it a low, medium or high-quality resolution image and then you can do things like changing it to be black and white, or you know colors, and that is probably one of the best things about digital photos is how easily you can edit them and change them up and highlight them and make them you know fun
LILY: Yeah, get creative, have a bit of fun, and like the other thing that I was thinking of when you were mentioning that was we are saying that in order to be more organized with your photos going forward, it is worthwhile when you take 10 photos going through at the time and picking your favorite one and deleting the rest right, but the cool thing about digital is if you are moving around and you are taking a bunch of different photos you can deal with them right then and there as opposed to having to wait until you come home, so
BONNIE: Yeah, that is very true. I think the second way of you know how to digitize your photos is that outsourcing, and you can just google a company near you; we have used a particular company here in Brisbane for a long time mostly because they were our in-law’s neighbors and so we knew them and trusted them, and they did a great price and a great job, but there are so many companies out there that can do that digitizing for you, and they can do things like your whole school photos, so when I was in high school we had like a 25 year.
LILY: Like a bit of photo
BONNIE: Yeah, we had like a 25-year anniversary photograph of the whole school like I think at that point there wasn’t a primary school, and it was like grade 6, I think it was a middle school to grade 12, and I mean, there was a lot of people, and yeah I had this huge poster of photograph that I thought how am I going to digitize this because I had been carrying it around in my memory box and it was laminate which you know kept it in good nick, but there was just no way I needed it, like how often do you look back
LILY: And it is really big
BONNIE: Yeah, they are huge, and it was great because I could actually get it scanned in, and then it got pieced together so that it was one file, you know the front, and then the back with all the names on it, and I actually was able to send it to the alumni from my old school who didn’t have a copy of that 25-year photograph
LILY: How funny is that
BONNIE: For some reason, and I just thought yeah like this is, it is really a great thing to do so whether you do have photographs, or you remember the glamour shots, you know we got them printed and framed, and we spent a huge amount of money on them in the ’90s to get these glamour shots of our families or whatever framed, get those digitized easily as well, you can get videos, slides all sorts of thing so it is such an awesome thing when you do finally get them digitized because you can just look at them and share them so much more easily
LILY: And you can protect them from deteriorating right because like in some photo books and things like that when they have been in there for ages they can get stuck to the clear protective covering over the top, they get like that weird yellowing acid wear and things like that, so like going digital in this way means that you might be protecting those memories from deteriorating where you can’t actually like see the images anymore.
BONNIE: Yeah, and I think especially if you have got photos from your family, so whether it is you know parents, grandparents or beyond if those photos are digitized, and they are actually part of something significant historically you can share them with a local historical society far more easily in that digital form rather than being in the hard copy form, so there is just, yeah there are so many pros to going digital but I what I want to talk about lastly before we sign off for today is how do we actually
LILY: How do we do it?
BONNIE: How do we do it, because
LILY: What if you are someone listening right now, and you are like, yes, I need a better digital organization system, or I don’t even have one? What should I do?
BONNIE: Yes, so, first of all, why do we need to spend the time setting up a good system, well the most important thing is that so that you can find the photo you are looking for when you want to find it, okay and this is where digital can be so helpful, or it can be so hindering so spend that initial time setting it up properly and the way we do this is we basically create a filing tree and so when it comes to things like pictures, I will have a picture folder on my iCloud for example or my cloud-based storage because I use dropbox and then under that pictures folder I have then just got all the pictures organized by year. So I think my earliest set of pictures might be 2001 or something like that, and then just inside each of those years, I will have all the events where there are multiple photos relating to a particular event they are all in the folder, and then there are some single kind of loose-leaf photos that might get floated around in that year, or if for example, I have taken a million individual photos of my toddler or my baby in the particular year I might create a folder that is just for that child so that I can find all those individual photos of them quite easily.
LILY: Yeah, I think that is one of the things where people get stuck; it is like, okay, how do I order it, so you do years.
BONNIE: Yeah, I do years because generally speaking, I mean you have got the search function anyway, but generally speaking, you can look back and go okay like what year was that trip to Europe, oh that’s right, it was that year and if you can’t remember that is where the search function is so important, and that is why labeling things is really really important, and I don’t know about you, what you do with your photos, but I don’t actually label my individual photos
LILY: No, neither that would be, so time-consuming
BONNIE: Yeah, and I feel like that is kind of a level of perfection that I just don’t have time for, and maybe one day I will go and do it, but at the moment, I feel like putting them in an event folder is kind of enough but if you did want to do like an individual label per photo you might have like a 2013 Europe folder for example, and then each of the photos is 2013 Europe number 1, number 2 that kind of thing
LILY: So I am slightly different to you in the sense that I don’t do years per se what I do is I kind of do like themes, so like for me I would put like when I was traveling I worked with a camp over a few summers, and so I would have the name of the camp as the folder, so it would be like Gwynn Valley, and then I would open it and then it would be like 2014, 2015 summer, 2016 summer and because that is how much my brain when I am looking for those photos, would look for Gwynn Valley specifically
LILY: But no matter which way I think you choose to do it, you just need to be consistent, you need to label you need to make sure that the logic of the way your tree, you folder tree works makes sense so that when you make it and then go back to it a year or two later when you have decided to do a big revise of it or what have you it all still makes sense
BONNIE: Yeah, and it is interesting you say that you file them a bit differently because I actually started off with a little bit of a different system where I had things by years for events but then I also had like individual photos and they were divided up kind of by family so my family, my husband’s family, and then like you know individual couples and kids and stuff, and I just found that that got too convoluted as the years went passed and you know nieces and nephews turned into teenagers and things like that, so that is why I have actually gone back to no this is all just getting organized by year and then by the event because then I can search quite easily
LILY: Yeah, and I think it is about figuring out what works best for you. Like the way you did it before you went back down sounds really good if someone has like a big event coming up a surprise party and you want to be like oh I am going to look up their name and all these photos of them done, you know as opposed to like going through the years, so I think there are pros and cons doing it either way, but the other thing I think that is a really perk of doing this digital system is, of course, is that once those things are all sorted like I was just saying it is really easy to just share and be like here’s grandma’s 80th photos everybody, yeah here is a dropbox link go check it out.
BONNIE: Yeah, and then people can download the ones that are relevant for them rather than feeling like they have got to, you know keep all of them it is just definitely the way of the future I mean, I love digital photo organization it is just super awesome.
LILY: I get so overwhelmed when like someone takes like a whole bunch of snaps, and then they airdrop them or send them all to me, and they are like just tick the ones you like, and I do it too, I admit I do it to other people too, but I am like ah I don’t want all the 330 photos just send me the ones that I am in or just send me the ones that are whatever
BONNIE: Or just send me the best, yeah
LILY: Yeah, yeah, but we all do it, you know, we are all so busy, and we don’t want to deal with photo organizations.
BONNIE: It is funny because when I have done that, and I have taking photos, and you know friends have said oh can you send me those photos because it has got all of our kids in it or something I will actually go through and for myself pick the best ones, edit those and delete the others and then only send through those you know 3-5 good ones rather than sending through all of them, usually but it depends if I have the time I suppose
LILY: Yeah, it just really depends how lazy I am feeling. Bonnie, what is this week’s tidy task for a digital photo organization?
BONNIE: Okay so the first step is to declutter and sort your hard copy photos and if you are outsourcing someone digitising your photos what is a really good thing to do is to stick an event in an envelope or in a plastic sleeve with a title on it so it might be 2013 Europe and that way when that person is digitising those photos for you they can automatically stick them into a folder labelled 2013 Europe because that just makes it so much easier for you to sort on the other end rather than having 7,000 individual photos that have got no kind of order to them, the second step is obviously to digitise them so whether you do this yourself or whether you outsource it that is the second step, third step is to set up your photo filing system so whether you do something like what you were talking about with the themes of folders as the top of your filing tree or whether you do the years like I do, just set up your folder system so you can just kind of drag and drop things into it once digitising is done and then the last step is share them and enjoy them because you have worked hard to get them organised and it is really important that you actually enjoy looking at them now.
LILY: And I want to add in the most difficult step that you will need to do at some point through there, and that is you will need to cull the digital ones you already have; let’s be real I don’t need 7,044 photos on my phone because I couldn’t even tell you what half of those photos are.
BONNIE: It sounds like we need to do a little challenge in the Little Home Organised Community group of photo decluttering challenge
LILY: Yeah, yeah, for June, it was junk draw June, so people going through their junk draws and trying to get on top of them so there is always a competition happening in there and let checking in the group, so feel free to check us out on Facebook but a reminder as well we have a competition going on so if you would like to go in the draw to win a Howards storage world voucher all you need to do is one of two things:
Send us a clutter confession or
Send us a listener question
And every time you send us one, you get an extra draw-in, and I think I should put a disclaimer out there too, Bonnie, that the clutter confession has to be yours, not someone else’s.
BONNIE: Hahaha, yes
LILY: Don’t go dobbing in your partners or your kids.
BONNIE: Yeah, we get a few of those, don’t we?
LILY: Yeah, and that’s it for this week’s episode; thank you so much for tuning in. We know how busy life can be, so thank you for lending us your ears.
BONNIE: And remember PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.
LILY: See you later
Hey, we’d love to keep the conversation going; head over to the Little Home Organised Community group on Facebook, ask questions, find motivation and share your before and afters, and if you enjoyed the show, please help us keep it going by hitting subscribe on Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen. It is free and ensures you do not miss an episode, but if you really want to share the love, leave us a rating and review. Trust me; it makes all the difference in the world.