Spring Cleaning: Photo Organization

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Being the Type-A person that I am, I have a laundry list of spaces that I want to reorganize and clean, but who the heck has time for that?! I'll honestly be happy if I finish cleaning the house before we leave for Europe... and I've got 3 weeks to accomplish that mission.

Since we do have our trip coming up and I haven't learned how to resize any of my ginormous DSLR camera photos yet, I decided to start with the thousands of photos we have saved on our computer. Literally, there are thousands. Its amazing how much space these photos are eating up!

Does anyone else have photos from 2007 still on their computer? That's 7 years ago folks. Chew on that for a minute. It feels like eons ago, if you ask me.

On top of that, there were so many photos where I must have just kept snapping away. You know, like the ones of your dog that look almost identical, but you feel like you need to keep anyway? 

So my basic strategy to tackle this pain in the ass project was:
  1. Don't delete anything on accident
  2. Convert ridiculous folder names like "World's Largest Cocktail Party" to something along the lines of "2007 - Fall - College Football"
  3. Back up photos in 2 places, because who knows where those disks might end up after our next move
  4. Be cheap about it
Here is what I did to backup all of our photos before deleting them from our computer, which by the way is kind of scary. I triple-checked all of the photo disks to make sure the photos were there before hitting the delete button! Eek!

DVDs and Kraft Sleeves {Walmart}, Media Box

Delete, rename, and reorganize.
I liked the idea of renaming folders according to the year, season, and then a more specific description. The problem was we had photos from the same year and season in so many separate folders, it took forever to sort out. I also deleted a lot of photos in this step that were similar but unnecessary.

Back up to the cloud or your choice of online photo storage. 
I started looking into cloud storage, but there are so many options out there and everything seemed to be expensive once you bypass the free space limit. I ultimately decided on Picasa because as long as files are under a certain size, they don't count towards your total free space allowance.

Back up onto a disk.
I used DVD+R disks (I think you can also use DVD-R?) and it seemed to work well. You get more space on the blank DVDs than the CDs. Another option is to back up onto an external hard drive, but I had one of those die on me and I couldn't salvage anything from it, so I'm not a fan.

Label. 
This is really whatever works for you but I put the date in the top right corner and then more specifics on the left side. It got kind of wonky when it came to our iphone photos since this was the first backup in however long it has been.

Delete.
You can do it, it will be okay!

The downside to this virtual cleanup is that our house is still dusty... ugh. Now, if we could just fast forward to our trip so I can put some pretty Italy photos on our computer, that would be fabulous!

Does anyone else have tons of photos taking up space like I did? What is your system for backing up the photos?

21 comments:

  1. I have so many pictures on our computer I know it's why the computer runs so slow now. I usually end up putting them on the little USB thing. But I haven't done that in awhile. Maybe I need to before I ruin our computer!

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  2. Grrrrrreat idea! I have so many pictures saved on FB that I don't want to get rid of, but I don't really want people to scroll through and see anymore either. Need to add this project to my to-do list.

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  3. This project has been on my mind for weeks now, and think you've given me the final push to get it done!

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  4. I really need to do this!! Such a good idea. I am really dumb and don't have my photos backed up so I should probably get on this asap!

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  5. I can relate 100% I need to move some of my pics to my external hard drive. I just can't bring myself to do it!

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  6. Yeah! I definitely need to weed through my photos and my music. They are both daunting tasks so I think I need to tackle them slowly. My plan is to use a cloud based backup system for my whole computer and then move all photos and music off of the computer hard drive and onto a large external hard drive - which will also be backed up via a cloud based backup.

    I also have a Pro Flickr account, so I am going to get back to uploading my photos to that. I used to do it pretty much every month, but the last few years I have definitely slacked on that.

    I used to use DVDs but then I was afraid I would lose or break them, so I think sticking to digital is best for me. I know my method might be a little expensive, but the peace of mind (and ability to access them anywhere in case of a disaster) is worth it for me.

    Starting this year I am also going to print my favorites in a photo book (sorta like a yearbook) at the end of the year, so we can look at them and show them to others and our (future) kids eventually.

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  7. Great post. This reminds me that I really really need to do this!

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  8. I desperately need to do this! Thanks for the inspiration, babe!!! xx

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  9. Dang girl, you are on it. My whole computer file life is so disorganized...particularly the picture department. And with all of the wedding festivities--it's only getting worse! Eek. Xx.

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  10. so smart! i need to do this... i have a laptop from college with photos on it (talk about OLD!) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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    1. Thanks!! It was a long process but worth it knowing that all the photos are safe! Good luck with yours!

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  11. Wow, wonder where some of my pictures are now that I think about it... Besides albums and Snapfish, iPhone photos make it so hard to get everything in one place. Go you!

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  12. This is something I've had on my to-do list for a long time! It's such a daunting task that I keep putting it off. How exciting that you're going to Italy soon! I'm jealous. My husband and I went two years ago and we loved it. Have fun!

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    1. You're right, its really intimidating! I'm hoping now that I'm caught up with it, I'll stick with it and it won't be so much effort in the future! And yes, we are beyond excited for Italy! Thank you! :)

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  13. YES, omg, I literally ordered an external hard drive for this the other day... Now I just have to sit down and do it. But I am reallllly looking forward to having a faster laptop once it's done! (Seriously, I have 17,000+ photos in iPhoto and that's not even counting the folders on my desktop...)

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  14. This has been on my to-do list forever!! I need to sit down and get this done before my computer crashes out of procrastination karma!

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  15. So smart to do this. Computers always crash so I tend to try and back my stuff up online or a zip drive. I can't believe you're off in 3 weeks!!

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  16. I think I need a new computer because if I don't back up my pictures monthly onto my hard drive and delete from my laptop then it alerts me with messages that I need to do a clean up! So I back up on an external hard drive and print annual books on shutterfly. We also get prints whenever shutterfly offers 101 free prints.

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  17. Great advice. Now if I could just find the time to sit down and do it! I have an old laptop that I won't get rid of simply because of the pictures on it. This is good inspiration for me to get started backing up and saving years of memories.
    Lori

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  18. This is something I so need to do! Great tips!!

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  19. Cait! I nominated you for a Liebster! Check out the details here... http://www.lavandlight.com/2014/02/liebster-award-2-3-4.html

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