Category Archives: photo hoarding

ORGANIZING YOUR DIGITAL VACATION PHOTOS SERIES–STEP 4: The Best Kept Secret to Organized Photos Revealed

Welcome back again for what is the final step in this series. It’s the one I’ve been most excited to share with you. It’s the step that brings everything together. It’s the step that creates the results you’ve hung in here for: To find what you want when you want it; to have an organized vacation folder, not chaos.

I want to apologize for the delay in getting this step out to you. I wanted to try a new, more visual way to convey the information to you. As it turns out, I’m not able to do it on this platform at the moment. So I’ll have to take you through the steps using screenshots instead.

Going back in time a bit, you created a folder structure in Step 1 for your vacation pictures. We’re going to build on that now with filenames. And if you thought you’d have to rename each file one by one or else keep them as they are, a meaningless set of letters and numbers, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. You’ll have your photos renamed faster than you ever thought possible. Dare I say, it will be a mind-blowing experience!

Renaming your files means you can:

  • Have your files super organized in short order
  • Find any file you want in a matter of seconds
  • Share photos with meaningful filenames for which your friends and family will love you
  • Create photo books, photo gifts and collages, as well as select your best photos for getting prints made quickly so you don’t miss a fantastic 2-day sale
  • Create and share online photo albums and slide shows with ease
  • And so much more

Continue reading ORGANIZING YOUR DIGITAL VACATION PHOTOS SERIES–STEP 4: The Best Kept Secret to Organized Photos Revealed

Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series-Step 3: Master the Art of Eliminating Picture Clutter

Hello! Glad to see that you’re back and ready to continue with this next step.

To recap, let’s look at what you’ve accomplished so far:

  • Created your working folder structure that will help keep you organized for many years to come.
  • Gathered your devices, copied the photos into a temporary folder and backed it up so the originals are safely tucked away for the short term (in case of any boo boos).
  • You also deleted the photos from your device(s) so you have lots of space again to take more photos!

Wow, that’s a lot. Give yourself a hug for sticking with it. You’ve accomplished what most people don’t even attempt: creating a great foundation for organizing success. You’re on your way to eliminating stress and confusion so you can enjoy your photos the way you want. Kiss guilt and anxiety goodbye!!

So let’s get started. You’ll find this part of the series to be very freeing.

Copy Files to Your Vacation Folder

In Step 1, you set up a 2016 Vacation folder, or whatever else you named it. Mine is named “2016-03 Viking River Cruise.”

Simply COPY the files from your “temporary folder” into the Vacations folder. This is where you’ll do the rest of your organizing.

The “temporary folder,” as previously mentioned, will be there in case you accidentally delete some photos you want to get back (even though you could also retrieve them from the “Trash”). I just find it quicker and easier to grab a file from there versus getting it from the “Trash.” It is also great to have if you want or need to start over during the file renaming step of this series.

Now you’re ready to eliminate picture clutter.

What is Picture Clutter?

It’s what you end up with when you store every photo you’ve ever taken without being selective with them. Do you really need five pictures of a landscape that are nearly identical? A picture of your shoes? Thirty pictures of the same people at the same birthday party? Or a shot of something you have no idea what it is?  The answer is No! Continue reading Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series-Step 3: Master the Art of Eliminating Picture Clutter

Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series: Step 1 (3 Steps to Creating Powerful, Searchable Folders)


Today you’ll begin a journey that will change your life. This statement might seem a bit bold, but if you’re drowning in photos and the stress of it all has you teetering on the brink of photo insanity, then it is a very accurate statement.  Disorganized photos can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, stressed, anxious, and even inadequate because you can’t keep up with it all. Today is the day all those feelings can stop.

I like to keep things simple. So don’t worry about it being too complicated. I like to find ways to get the job done right using the least amount of effort. Who doesn’t want that, right? Discovering how to do that might take a little time, but in the long run it really pays off. I can then accomplish what I want with the least amount of time, effort and financial investment.

What you’ll learn here is how I and many other photo organizers organize their own photos and that of their clients. How we do it right with the least amount of effort and time. So don’t get stressed out thinking about all you have to do to get them organized.

Follow this series and only concentrate on the one step I’m covering at that time. Don’t think about what’s ahead. Don’t look behind. The mess you have now is irrelevant. It’s manageable. With each step it’s evolving into photo nirvana.

Let’s get started!

Create New Folders

Creating new folders seems like a simple enough task. You’ve created hundreds of folders over the years either on your personal computer or at work. And it is a simple act to create a folder. However, the trick to a great folder structure is knowing what to name your folders and files so they make sense now and in the future for you–or anyone else that might need to retrieve some photos from your files.

Continue reading Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series: Step 1 (3 Steps to Creating Powerful, Searchable Folders)

Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series: Intro

Returning from Vacation is Hard. But Viewing Your Photos is Fun!

Welcome! If you’re reading this, it means you have vacation or another group of photos you’re ready to get organized. Or perhaps you’ll be vacationing soon and want to prepare for getting them organized upon your return home. Either way, you’re in store for viewing your captured memories and getting them organized at the same time. Now that’s a time saver!

This series will focus on using a personal computer to organize photos. It’s impossible to do much organizing on small devices such as phones and tablets. Many of these devices will automatically create a timeline by date or location (if you have the Location setting on) for easy viewing, but the long, nondescript filename assigned automatically does little to help you find the picture you want a few years from now, whether it be on your device or computer or in cloud storage. Plus, your device can only hold so many photos and then you need to delete or move them elsewhere. If you don’t transfer them, you just end up with a digital graveyard full of photos surely to be lost or damaged at some point. If you’ve ever Continue reading Organizing Your Digital Vacation Photos Series: Intro

Do You Hoard Photos? And It’s Stressing You Out?

I wanted to share with you today a little more about my upcoming “How to Organize Your Digital Vacation Photos” (or any other group of photos) series. But I know that anxiety can be a huge issue to overcome when you first think about organizing your photos. So let’s address this issue first.

Now who isn’t a bit anxious thinking about the cluttered mass of photos we’ve accumulated? Most of us have more photos than we know what to do with. That kind of makes us photo hoarders. I don’t mean to be cruel or judgmental, but, hey, let’s face facts: if you just accumulate photos and seldom do anything with them (besides a quick share on social media), yet you have a sense of comfort in knowing they’re there, then you’re a hoarder. Acceptance is the first step to recovery. Or as I like to think, the first step to “Motivation.” Motivation will be key to getting your photos organized.

For example, we all love to eat, right? I know I do. Too much. But who enjoys cleaning up the kitchen after the meal? Not many of us but we do it anyway. And we love to go on vacation, but how long do walk around the suitcases until we finally put them away? It could be days or weeks (as you secretly hope you can simply repack them for another trip. Problem solved). But if the reality is that another trip is not in store soon, then you get up the energy to store them away.

I know I don’t like doing the “after” stuff. A sister of mine does though. I find that odd. She must have inherited the “clean gene” or figured out that taking care of things right away results in less anxiety for her. For me, the “after” stuff is seriously nothing short of boring and painful. I was born with the “fun gene.” Fun motivates me! But sometimes we just have to get the tough jobs done.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m simply short on motivation. If you weren’t born with the “clean gene” either, then you struggle like I do getting the boring stuff done. I really enjoy taking photos (like I enjoy eating a meal). It’s fun. But the “cleaning” and organizing part (like cleaning up after the meal) can be a chore sometimes. Just as there are quicker ways to clean up the kitchen if you learn a few “tricks,” so can it be with managing photos.

But first we need to know what’s causing our anxiety or lack of motivation that makes us photo hoarders. Is it lack of time? Knowledge? Fear of making a mistake? No clue how to get started? It’s really not that fun to organize? Regardless of the reason, once you know the cause (and accept it as an issue to be resolved) you can move forward to overcome it. That’s where the motivators come in.

So what would motivate you to invest the time to organize your photos? For me, it’s being able to find the photo I need quickly. It frustrates me to have to search forever and sometimes never find what I’m looking for. For you, it might be:

  • the same thing so you can easily create photo books or gifts on the fly;
  • putting together a last minute video for someone’s birthday party, anniversary, graduation or wedding without the stress of downloading from the cloud or transferring from your devices the photos you need;
  • you enjoy sharing your photos a lot and you’d like the recipients to know what the photo is about. Is 20160703_123456.jpg really helpful?
  • you need to get the photos off your device because the “low memory” message is preventing you from taking or storing more photos;
  • you don’t want to lose your photos! You want them off your devices and backed up in a safe place for now and future generations to enjoy—and make sense of.

After all this, we can conclude that hoarding pictures on all your devices and having no organization to them can cause incredible anxiety and frustration. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Every time you take a picture you are confronted with the fact that you’re adding to the problem that already overwhelms you. And not addressing it prevents you from more fully enjoying the photos the way you’d like.

If being a photo hoarder stresses you out, and you’ve discovered what will motivate you to finally get your photos under control, then you’ll want to make time to follow this series. One thing you’ll learn is how to purge and when to purge your photos to nip those anxious feelings in the bud. How great will it be to quickly reduce the clutter in your collection to a manageable number? Isn’t it a chore to clean out your closet of clothes you’ll never wear again that are just taking up space? But the end result is freeing and satisfying! There’s so much more room now. And the pole or shelves won’t fall down…again (Hint: that’s a motivator). Purging your collection of really bad or irrelevant photos will give you that same sense of freedom and satisfaction.

You’ll soon be able to enjoy your photos in new and exciting ways because everything you need will be at your fingertips and quick to find. You’ll be free to get creative with them! Now that’s fun. And you’ll know that they’re safe from loss or damage. And those are great motivators.

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Anyone have a photo hoarding story they’d like to share? What are your biggest challenges in managing your photos?