Sorting your family photos can seem like a really daunting task, especially when confronted with boxes upon boxes of photos. I mean, where do you start, right?
Before I start a big project like this I make sure I have all the tools I'm going to need. If you have to continuously stop, go find something and then restart the sorting session, you're less likely to get much of anything done. So what exactly are you going to need?
My sorting toolkit consists of the following:
1. garbage bags
2. rubbermaid totes / bankers boxes
4. photo safe pen
5. sticky notes
6. sorting criteria
7. clipboard, pen
8. ziploc bags
No one has time to complete a large project like this in one sitting, so I have broken it down into more manageable pieces. I would usually set myself a timer for this first sort to ensure that I don't go down the rabbit hole of reminiscing over each photo and get lost in time. For this first sort all you will need from the kit is the garbage bag, and tote. You will only be sorting the photos into keep and toss based on the criteria you have prepared. Your criteria may look something like this, but make yours to fit your needs.
Toss the following photos:
1. Blurry: Unless it has supreme sentimental value, there is no need to keep these
2. Doubles / triplicates
3. Poor quality with a finger in the photo or something similar
4. Landscapes: unless they evoke a specific and sentimental memory you're not likely to look at the photos ever again from the trip you took back in 1982. Images of people will likely have much more meaning to you.
5. If you don't have a clue who the people in the picture are nor does anyone else in the family.
Now get comfortable and complete the keep and toss sort. Don't get stuck in the notion that getting rid of a photo of someone is akin to getting rid of the person. The first time I sorted my own photo collection, I had difficulty tossing the hundreds of extra school pictures I had of my daughter. It seemed wrong to throw away anything related to her, like it was bad karma or something. I finally went and asked for her opinion on the matter. She laughed at me. That's just stupid mom was the answer I received. I realized it was a non rational fear and threw them all out except for one copy of each. Now, I take no issue with tossing images of any type.
The second sort is more involved and will take more time, with a greater risk of getting drawn into the memories. Try to keep on task as much as possible. Once your project is completed you will have more time to appreciate your photos and their memories.
This time you will be sorting your remaining photos into broad categories. You will want to decide before you start this sort, what types of categories you will use. People, years, events, some other theme.
You'll need to get your containers ready (or just make piles). You will use the sticky notes to write down the categories as you come across them. If you come across photos that you need to write something on the back of them, use the photo safe pen. Other pens and some pencils will push through to the other side of the photo causing damage.
As you work through this sort, you may come across categories that have dozens of photos of the same event. Challenge yourself with those large categories and save only the best 5 of each event. Your photos should hold meaning and 25 pictures from your friend's cousin's wedding probably isn't necessary for the memories.
If your time runs out before this sort is complete, use the ziplocs to keep the photos sorted until your next session.
As a co-chair of the fundraising committee for my daughter's cheerleading club for the past three years, I have worked with many different vendors and events all in the name of helping the kids to continue in this great sport.
We offer around 13-20 different fundraising opportunities per year with varying degrees of success. So I think I can say that I have experience with organizing fundraising events and I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned and how to make it easier for other committees.
1. People are more willing to contribute if they are raising funds for individuals than groups
Often if you are fundraising for individuals, family and friends are more likely to and will contribute more to support their family member or friend when they will personally benefit instead of the group overall. Its more personal. So, if you are able to individualize the fundraiser, do so.
2. Clarity is King:
Instructions for any fundraiser must be idiot proof. People's attention span is aprox. 8 secs. so you need to give them the most important info up front. Try to keep some consistency in your fundraisers. Example: they always go to the same place to locate the information and submit their orders, same form of payments accepted for each and to the same person.
3. Utilize technology available to make it easier for yourself, even if there is a small learning curve. Over the long haul, it will run more smoothly and consistently. I utilize several different time savers. I created a free and easy drag n drop website for our club, so members always know where to find information sheets, product info and a consistent place for order submission. Here is ours to get an idea. https://pfcparentcommittee.weebly.com/
I use the non profit version of jotform to accept order submissions. Here is an example of ours. https://form.jotform.com/82904704072252. The form completes the calculation for the submitter to prevent submitter error. It also prevents issues from illegible handwriting. We only accept submissions directly from club members. This ensures that we are not trying to hunt down someone's uncle's work friend for a bounced cheque as we only have to deal with one payment directly from the club member. It has the ability to create a google spreadsheet directly from the submissions, making placing the order to the vendor simple as well. We can then send the spreadsheet and a single profit payment to the gym for disbursement.
I also use Gmail mail merge to send the submitters updates on their orders as well as pickup locations and times. Its great for reminders to members as well.
4. The last thing I learned is that patience is a must. No matter how organized your fundraisers are, there will almost always be something new to learn from each fundraiser. People are people and sometimes we just need to be reminded of why we are fundraising in the first place.
The easiest fundraiser I have come across is the TUPPERWARE FUNDRAISER. Its why I decided to start coordinating them myself. For more information on my TUPPERWARE FUNDRAISERS click the button below.
The trick to balancing life and decreasing stress in your life lies in a 20-minute exercise each day:
Five minutes for calming your mind.
This exercise at the beginning of each day is crucial. Meditating or your version of it can mean the difference between attacking your day with ferocity and approaching it with an aura of calmness. Meditation centers your mind and calms your spirit. It also helps relieve any tension you feel about the day ahead. Meditation can help you focus on your inner power and remind you that you’re important to others.
Five minutes for planning.
Once you've calmed your mind, it’s time to plan your day. Planning means organizing your tasks so you can be productive without abusing yourself. Prioritize your tasks based on their importance. Delete and delegate what you can, then schedule what must be done.
Try your best to stick to the plan for the day. Having a clear plan for what you want to accomplish helps to keep you focused and stress-free.
Five minutes for checking in.
Whether all at once or in one-minute intervals, check up on yourself. Assess how well you've been able to stick to your plan. Have you accomplished your important tasks? Have you been able to manage your day without losing your cool?
There may be times when you’ll have to readjust your list of tasks. There are bound to be unforeseen circumstances. But what's important is that you take them in stride.
Take a moment to change your approach. Learn how to go with the flow.
Five minutes for winding down.
Now that you've come to the end of the day, it's time to wind down. You've probably never allowed yourself the opportunity to truly do that before.
Taking time to wind down is the best way to relieve the stress of the day. Engage in some relaxing activities. Do you like yoga or would you prefer to sit quietly and listen to jazz music? Let go of what happened today and get ready for tomorrow.
Winding down also opens you up to spending quality time with loved ones. You'll probably agree that at the end of a busy day, you may be too tired to interact with anyone. That will change when you allow yourself to wind down each day.
Once you try it for a week, you'll realize that this approach works. Designating these 20 minutes each day can help you maintain some balance and decrease your stress level. It can also help you manage all other aspects of your life with relative ease. And you'll enjoy a calmer existence that you didn’t think was possible!