Overwhelmed by photos? 5 tips to get on top

Photo overwhelm is more of a problem today than ever before. Prior to digital technology the only way you could see your photos was to get them developed. So that’s what we all did! For many, like me, those photos went straight into an album where they could be enjoyed by all. Others stashed them into a shoe box to sort out ‘one day’. These days we see photos instantly so there is not the same motivation to get them printed. Large numbers of photos can be stored electronically and so more and more accumulate. I can understand how this happens. In the first 8 weeks of my new phone’s life I already had 116 photos on it, and another 208 that I had deleted after moving them to a laptop. I’m determined to avoid photo overwhelm with this phone. If you are feeling overwhelmed by either your phone photos or by that shoebox of unsorted photos from the past, here are my top 5 tips.

1. Buy a sort box

This will help you organise your photos into events for putting them into albums. Yes, my tips do include preserving your photos in a non-electronic format! After all, it’s a little hard to crowd around a phone to look at the photos from your holiday or that special event. This Creative Memories Power Sort Box is available here.

2. Delete and sort for 10 minutes each day

Spend some time every day going through the photos on your phone. Yes it’s a massive task. But the task will only get bigger if you take more without dealing with the ones you have. Go event by event and start by deleting any blurred or duplicate photos. Those minutes that you spend waiting – for an appointment, for someone to arrive, for public transport – can be put to good use this way. Sort them into folders by event or chronology as you go. If you are tackling that jumbled box of old photos unearthed from the corner of the cupboard, do likewise. Throw out any bad photos – be brutal! Start filing the good ones straight into your sort box, chronologically or by event.

3. Get your photos printed

For less than 15 cents each, you can have your photos printed at a photographic, electronics or office supply store; or upload them to be printed and sent to you. It will cost you less than $30 to get a couple of hundred photos printed, and you are then well on your way to conquering photo overwhelm

4. Buy an album, some tools, some paper and get started

Scrapbooking does not require a lot of creativity, nor does it have to be fussy. You will need an album, a trimmer, adhesive, and maybe some paper to get started. Creative Memories Fast2Fab range makes it so easy. The albums have pre-designed pages that your photos can go straight onto. Great for holiday and baby albums particularly. Or you can buy an album and separate pages and page protectors.

Tape runner – so easy to load
Buying bundles save money!
CM makes a quality Trimmer
Fast2Fab range = quick completion
Plain pages + own choice of paper










All of these beautiful and high quality scrapbooking products can be found on my Creative Memories site. Scrapbooking is a lovely activity to do with friends, or on your own. I’ve found that attending a monthly workshop is a good way to keep my albums reasonably up-to-date. You know you are going on that particular night, and that can be the impetus for getting your most recent photos printed. Look for one in your local area, or think about starting one if you have a group of friends who are also interested in preserving their memories by scrapbooking their photos. I’ve just moved to a new area and have not found a workshop here so far, so I’m thinking about starting one myself! It’s a lovely social thing to do.

5. Resolve to continue to follow tips 2 – 4!

Will this be the year that you deal with those thousands of photos on your phone, or those unsorted photos you have stashed away? I have always believed that unless photos are printed, preserved, and journalled, the what, where and when of the photo can easily be lost. Sadly so can the ‘who’. Please don’t let this happen to the important moments in your life.

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  • I have a confession. I’ve fallen off the scrapbooking bandwagon. I used to be so diligent whilst on maternity leave but now all my supplies are staring back at me with judgement as I look at them with guilt. Thanks for the reminder to use them. I’ve been making lots of photo books on my phone with Chatbooks though!

    SSG xxx

  • kathymarris says:

    My photos are fairly well organised thankfully. Most of them are in albums or in photobooks. I’m a bit obsessed with creating photobooks and have 20 or so! You do have some very good tips Jo for getting them organised. #TeamLovinLife

  • writeofthemiddle says:

    I have heaps of boxes of photos shoved in a cupboard and I have heaps of photos on my computer and phone. It seems overwhelming to me to even know where to begin with them. It is something I need to do but first I need to find the time and motivation. I do love your tips Jo. I have never done scrapbooking before! #TeamLovinLife

  • Jo Castro says:

    Oh gosh a timely post! I have a trunk full of old photos which really need sorting. We do have albums and albums of photos of when the kids were little and Dave likes making photo books, so we are pretty well sorted there – but the big monster backlog in the trunk – HELP!

    • Jo says:

      I’m reminded of a well known Little River Band song in response to your plea for HELP Jo!! The sort box is the first step, as well as allocating 15 minutes every day or 2 to start on that trunk!

  • Jo says:

    Some great tips here – and some fabulous tools. I might be in touch with you shortly – I’m doing a This Is Your Life style thingie for my Dad’s 80th in October & an deciding whether to do it digitally into a book I can have reprinted or as a standalone album – I remember doing a CM album when it was Mum & Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary & it went down a treat.

  • sizzlesue15 says:

    Great tips Jo and lovely to meet you! I don’t have many photos these days as we use digital photos from our travels and then make (or think about making :)) Photo books. I think it can become very overwhelming trying to sort either physical photos or digital ones so I like your idea of breaking it into deleting and sorting for 10 minutes a day. That is definitely doable. Now to start on our photos from our trip to Spain last year….
    Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • Jo says:

      Ah….Spain….that trip was 20 years ago and holds fond memories. Must have a look through my Spain and Portugal album for a trip down memory lane. Good on you Sue for making photo books. It’s a great alternative to albums.

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