Things that sit in your gut: how to get started

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Do things ever just sit in your gut? That one thing that you know you need to do something about, but you put it off and put it off? Then you do it…and you wonder what took you so long?

This happens to me all. the. time.

If you know my story, you know that I didn’t set out to build a business or be an entrepreneur. I was ready to do something because I had been home with my kids for about 4 years after a 15-year career in the corporate world and was thinking about my next thing. I showed up at a coffee shop one day and my friend Pam planted a seed. At first I laughed and said no. But that seed…it sat in my gut. If I wouldn’t have pushed the fear aside just enough to have the conversation that changed my professional life, I would have missed out on touching countless hearts over the past 8 years.


A recent story…my daughter studied abroad in the Fall of 2017. The thing she wanted most for Christmas last year was for me to create an album of her experience using her blog and the hundreds of photos she took. I wouldn’t exactly call it fear, but definitely this project sat in my gut for a really long time. It was a huge project that I knew would take hours that I didn’t think I had…but I promised. Guess what just arrived (a full year later)? I can honestly say that the relief that I felt when that album was in the hands of the printer was like a ton of bricks off my shoulders. Even better was the smile and the gratitude I got to experience when my daughter received it. Totally worth it! I now know that those 4 months that completely changed the way she sees the world will be preserved forever.

I share these stories because so many of my clients find their way to me because the weight of being the family memory keeper and the fear of losing their memories to technology failure is sitting in their gut. Over and over my clients have shared with me the relief they feel after just making the call and getting started.

So how do you get started?

1.      Put together a plan. Break down your collection into 4 parts: digital photos, printed photos, old media (VHS tapes, film reels, slides) and memorabilia. Start with digital, as that is the area that is most susceptible to technology failure. Don’t try to do it all at once. Take it in pieces.

2.      Set goals. If you don’t, it won’t get done. You know it.

3.      Gather everything into one place. With digital, make a list of all of the places that your digital photos live (e.g. computers, phones, external hard drives, flashdrives, cloud services, CD/DVDs, social media) and gather them. The only way to effectively manage a digital collection is to have all of the photos in one location. With printed photos, get everything into one room. Here is an overview of the process I recently went through with my own family’s printed collection: Before and After…My Photo Organizing Project.

4.      Establish a system or process you will use going forward. Once you get it organized, having a process that you will follow is a must if you want to maintain it.

If you need help, I’m here for ya. Or call another Professional Photo Organizer (find one here). The tools and knowledge we have will definitely speed up the process and can get you unstuck. If you want a go at it yourself, there are tons of online resources, including several through the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.

Wishing you peace of mind and gut in the upcoming year!