A new year is roaring right up and I have a special announcement for the year 2020! But before I make my announcement I want to share some insight into WHY you might be feeling overwhelmed by your boxes of photos, and it’s probably not what you think.
What is it that makes us feel overwhelmed when it comes to our boxes of family photos?
For some it’s the sheer volume of boxes. For others it may be dealing with a lot of slides and negatives or other kinds of unusual media and not knowing how to handle all of that, or maybe you don’t know the names or history behind the people in the photos.
Those are all legitimate problems, but for me? The biggest reason for MY Overwhelm was that I didn’t have a good overall system for dealing with my boxes of photos. You can deal with other kinds of problems much more easily if you have a good system. In fact, it’s possible that your organizational system may actually be working against you without you realizing it.
That’s what happened to me and it kept me frustrated for years.
What Is A System?
When I use the word “system” I’m talking about how we organize and divide up our photos and all the other stuff in our boxes.
When we received the boxes all the photos, slides, negatives, and memorabilia were in SOME kind of order—or maybe NOT! Maybe it was just a random pile of family photos. But even if it’s all in some kind of order you still have decisions to make, like how to divide up the family groups because people span more than one generation, so you need to know what you’re going to do with photos of one person that are taken over multiple generations and other thorny issues like that.
You probably know that I’ve been a digital scrapbooker for years. I still have classes on digital scrapbooking at the Digital Scrapper QwikLearn Classroom. One of the classes I’ve taught is how to organize your digital photos, and it’s a great class—my students love it. But when I tried to use that same system with my boxes of photos, it wasn’t working.
And I hear the same thing from other scrapbookers, and genealogists, and other family historians. Their current organizational system isn’t helping them deal with all the boxes.
So here’s what I did: After starting and stopping multiple times on my boxes of photos over a period of several years, I said to myself, “Linda, you are going to focus on this until you crack the code and get it figured out!” because I KNEW there had to be a systematic approach that would work, and since my current system wasn’t working I gave myself permission to use a different system.
That was key because it opened me up other possibilities. When I FINALLY landed on the right system it was like the heavens opened and the angels sang! And guess what? The feeling of overwhelm vanished instantly!
Was there still a lot to do? Of course! Were there still unanswered questions? Oh, yes! But that was minor compared to having an overall system that worked.
So if you’re still overwhelmed by your boxes of photos, try using a different approach, but keep it SIMPLE. It needs to work not only for us but also for our children and grandchildren and future generations. Anyone should be able to look at our family history system and understand how it all fits together without a lot of effort.
I’ve seen some systems that are way too complicated and confusing. It works great for the person who created it because she has the curse of knowledge. It’s all up here—in her brain—but it’s downright confusing to anyone else!
A System That Works
A system that works should have 3 characteristics:
It should be SIMPLE: something that’s easy to understand and APPLY to a box of photos
It should be UNIVERSAL: which means it should work the same for EVERY BOX of family photos.
And it should be TRANSFERABLE: A descendent down the road, or even a stranger should be able to easily understand it.
I’m not naive enough to think that my system is the ONLY system that works. If you already have a system that’s working for your boxes, that’s great! I do teach MY system—the one that finally unlocked everything for me—in my challenge class called Unlock The Boxes, but it’s not a requirement for the class. You can use your own system as long as it’s working for your boxes.
My Big Announcement
And that brings me to my big announcement for the upcoming New Year. It’s almost 2020—can you believe it? AND it’s a brand new decade so it’s time for challenge, and here it is: What if you could unlock all your boxes of photos in 2020 and turn them into easy-to-share family history that you’re proud to pass down to the next generation? Would that be a WIN for 2020?
It IS possible and I want to help you do that, so on January 8 I’m hosting a 7-Day Unlock The Boxes CHALLENGE class to help you get it done in 2020! It’ll be a total no-brainer to join—you’d be crazy not to! So watch for some more info and the sign-up announcement, which will come right after Christmas. And if you’re not on my email list be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of the details about my Unlock The Boxes Challenge for 2020.
May 2020 be the year you finally turn your boxes of photos into shareable family stories!