Monday, 9 March 2009

"A Stitch in Time Saves Nine"

"A Stitch in Time Saves Nine" ...It’s one of those phrases my Mum and Nan would use when I was a kid (in reference to keeping on top of things) I never paid much attention, I always ended up spending all day Saturday tidying a week’s worth of mess in my bedroom! I wish my Mum and Nan had taken their own advise when it came to organising their photos, memories and music. Trying to organise photos for my dad's 60th birthday was quiet a task when crammed up in the loft with a torch trying to hunt through 6 box's and a 2 bags of jumbled up photos!

I have this 'super organised' client who has asked us to create a life biography for her husband. On our first meeting she pulled out from her cupboard:

  • 20+ photo albums, in year order.
  • 10 CD’s each containing photo files all in order + a contact sheet for each file (A4 print out of all the photos) - not even I’m that organised!!!
  • A box of photos all organised in date and event order packs with big bold back writing on each pack with details of what the photos are
  • A box of video tapes is labeled and in date order
  • Love letters, cards and trinkets all boxed up in order of year and everything is label in some way

For me she is a dream client! Instead of spending a weeks organising photos we sat down for an afternoon and the process was enjoyable , relaxing and rather therapeutic for her... this is not the norm. Often it gets stressful and more like a labour of love!

So ... today take with you ‘A stitch in time’... it’s never too late to start organising. A few minutes here and there and you could save yourself and your family much so much time and stress, plus you can actull
y start to enjoy your photos!

Digital Photo Organisation Tips

  • File everything chronologically.
  • In my Pictures folder have a folder named for each year, for instance, "2006."
  • In each year's have a folder for each month, named for the number of the month, like "01." Always use a leading zero, like "01" instead of "1," or the name of the month so they always list in the correct order.
  • In each month's folder have a new folder for each day / event / holiday: ie "09 Brighton Beach."
  • Name each photo or favourite photos with key words to help with searches in the future
  • Have a ‘highlights’ file for each year with a copy of all the best photos
  • BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS create CD’s and even update onto external hard drives. Back them up!

Hard Copy Photo Organisatation Tips

  • Put aside a Friday evening with a bottle of wine/ gin/ tea = whatever your favourite tipple
  • Put on some good music
  • On the floor lay out A3 white envelopes + colourful dividers a black marker pen for the envelopes and a pencil to write on the back of photos if needed. + storage box's
  • File them in a similar order to your digital image.
  • Write on the front of the envelopes dates, events etc
  • Use divider to separate years / or decade in some cases!
  • Take notes of any photos that you would like to scan
  • Put aside a date when you can sit and scan the photos or send them to us and we’ll scan them
  • Any old VHS and cine film get transferred to digital!

why a stitch in time?...


  1. ooohh I wish I could be that organized!

  2. my point is Hillary - that if you get drunk on a friday night you possibly could be that organised! :o) Or do a little bit every week when you are sat at your computer...

  3. This is really good advice, Louise. Thank you for it. I shall attempt it during Match of the Day. Failing that, I shall just attempt it drunk. Whichever, you have given me a template, and I am grateful. I might even sort my funeral ones while I'm at it and have a folder named When I'm Dead.

  4. funny you should say that charles - that leads onto my next blog of tips and tasks for people to do!!! this space