Spring clean your photo library

Whether you are getting organized for a Week in the Life project or gingerly snapping springtime photos, the warmer weather has likely sent you on a declutter bender. The transitional time has us digging out of winter’s tumbleweeds while also setting up new systems to make it through the busy spring and summer.

Some targeted attention to your photo library during this time will set you up for less anxiety in your memory keeping. Before we dig into a few strategies, here’s my rationale for why spring cleaning will help your scrapping.

I read a wonderful post last month at Sorta Crunchy, talking about one simple action that transformed the writer’s productivity. This post gave me a huge boost, because I identified the one thing that keeps my scrapping on track.

When I stay caught up with my photo processing, I feel in control of my memory keeping life. When I know where my photos are, I know that I can jump right into a layout when a great new kit catches my eye. When I have a system that’s working for me, I’m prepared (and excited) to tackle new projects.

Three Ways to Tidy Up your Photo Library

1. Revisit labeling – It’s so much easier to find what you’re looking for if there is a consistent strategy for naming and labeling files and folders. Take a fresh look at your system and see if its working for you. Balance having a folder structure that makes sense with limiting unnecessary creation of folders (where a file name could serve the same function).

2. Delete liberally – I talk about this frequently, but its sometimes easier to part with photos after time has passed. For every new set that you import from the camera, spend a few minutes culling old photos for images that are duplicative, just not so good or not needed (like web-sized versions). While you’re at it, flag the very best for scrapping and know that’s one more set ready to go!

3. Relocation – We’re always planning how to back up our photos, but at some point there’s really no reason to keep a version on your harddrive. Choose simplicity and less clutter by transferring a copy of your images to DVD and keeping your primary archive on a site like Flickr. Free up that precious space for new photos and of course, lots of new scrapping goodies.

Now is the perfect time to get your photo archive up-to-date. With National Scrapbooking Day (NSD) on the horizon, you’ll want to be squared away for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Can you think of another easy way to “spring clean” your photo library?