by Jody Al-Saigh, Certified Personal Photo Organizer
A lot of people get daunted or overwhelmed by the process of organizing photos. It can be SCARY!! They don’t know how to get started. They don’t feel like they have the right tools or knowledge. In fact, organizing photos is the same as organizing your basement or garage. Getting your photos organized can protect your valuable memories from damage. YIKES! Properly displaying your photos means you can enjoy them rather than having them stuffed in a dark room or closet. SPOOKY!!
Sometimes clients hire me just to have a regular appointment to keep. If they are paying me they know they don’t want to waste their money and time. Photo organizing is one of those tasks that, for many, can fall by the wayside in our busy lives. You can always put it aside for something “more important.”
But after a while the task gets too big to manage because you’ve put it off for so long. Often the bigger a project gets, the more money you end up throwing at it in order to solve the problem. I recommend setting an appointment with yourself once a month to download photos off your camera, sort them into folders on your computer, or even have them printed.
If you want to protect your photos, you should always find products that are classified “photo-safe” and “acid-free.” Archival storage for your precious memories can come at a price. Looking for sales at your local craft store can be one way to save money. Also, photos should never be stored in a garage or basement (because of temperature fluctuations) or anywhere there might be potential for leaks or floods. Great places for photo storage are in a guest room closet or under beds in sealed containers.
We all take far more photos than we actually need. The proliferation of smart phones, tablets and digital cameras allow us to take thousands of photos in a lifetime – yet nobody wants to sit and look through thousands of images. Sort and save your key memories, the truly beautiful shots, the true “gems” of your collection. This will keep your photos manageable as you aim to display or store them. As you take photos, be wary of taking too many “background” shots such as landscapes or buildings. Without a person in the photo, a personal connection to an emotion or a time, a photo of a landmark or mountain might as well be a postcard you bought in a gift shop. If you add personal relevance to the image, you will be more likely to save it for generations to come.Jody Al-Saigh has a background in photography and design and earned a B.S. in Photojournalism photography from Syracuse University. She worked for 10 years in print production and graphic design. Jody is a Certified Personal Photo Organizer with the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). Her background in photography and design led to her specialization in photo and collection organizing.
After my last post on closet organizing, I had a few questions on hangers. Since, this is something that people use EVERY day it is worth investing in the right ones for your unique clothing needs.
STYLE: Always buy hangers that have a bottom cross bar also known as a “suit hanger”. This enables you to easily hang a scarf with a blouse that matches it. Or, you can fold a pair of pants over the cross bar. The crossbar also makes the hanger stronger and more durable.
COLOR: For a unified and coordinated look put everything on BLACK hangers, that way the hangers will always match when you buy new ones. (The white plastic ones tend to yellow.)
FLOCKED: My favorites are the thin flocked hangers also known as “huggable”. They are widely available but Costco wins for bargain prices, 35 for $9.99 (45.5 cm wide).
PLASTIC: The black plastic classic tubular hanger from the Container Store is the best. At 41 cm wide the style will always be consistent and the quality is excellent. Buy them by the case at 27 cents each.
WIRE: “NO wire hangers ever!” Actually, I am not as militant as Joan Crawford and will allow blouses and shirts that are back from the cleaners to stay on wire (that way you know that they are clean). But jackets must be switched ASAP. That bit of cardboard shaped like a wedge will not support a shoulder for very long.
MEN:Classic wooden hangers with a shoulder width of at least 1” are essential for hanging your suit jackets so that they retain their shape.
SLENDER SHOULDERS: Petite women will love the Okla Hangers from Container Store. These hangers are only 42 centimeters across and won’t stretch or pull the fabric the way a wider hanger can. They are not cheap at 3 for $3.99, but your expensive sweaters and work wear will thank you!
WIDER SHOULDERS: For men or plus-size ladies, use wider hangers so that your shirts can hang at the natural shoulder line. I like BrylaneHome Plus Size Hangers available on Amazon ($20 for 20 hangers that are 54 cm wide).
BACKWARD: When re-doing your closet or when your seasonal switch is over there is one last step! Go through and put all the hangers on the rail “backward” so that the tip is facing out. As you wear and wash your clothes then return garments “normally” to the rail. This simple cost-free idea makes it effortless for you to see what you have REALLY been wearing at the end of a season.