Declutter. Get Organized

Unorganized Box

Has your resolve to declutter your house zig zagged between hot and cold, making its circuitous way around your home until it fizzles out and goes back into hiding in your attic and basement? Instead of fretting about the severe weather and watching endless streams of weather updates, let’s consider a organized approach to your resolution.

This is a great time of year to stay indoors and start a new project. You may have noticed that the brick-and-mortar and online stores are currently stocked with products to help us get organized. From storage bins to shredders, they’re designed to help us free up space and make more time for the things we really want to do in life. There are some great ideas in the aisles for you to think about.

Here’s our stay-warm advice for decluttering and getting organized.

Set one goal
Projects are easier to accomplish if you set one or two realistic goals. Create a laundry list and you’ll overwhelm yourself into doing nothing. Let’s stick to the one you made about organizing photos, creating photo books and sharing old memories with family and friends. This is a big one, but the good news is it doesn’t require you to shovel or deice anything.

Make a list of the fun projects you can do indoors right now. First this, then that. Are you simply making space or are you planning some artful projects and preserving family history?

ClockSchedule time
Look at your calendar and decide the best times of the day over the next several weeks to work on your project in small chucks of time. With just 30 minutes a day every day for a week, you’ll compile three and a half hours of work by next week. If you’re home-bound due to weather conditions, then, by all means, crank up the music and get started several hours at a time.

Box Of PhotosOrganize
We mean don’t tear up the hall closet looking for those photo boxes and then leave everything else strewn about the floor. Stay focused to your project. If your plan is to organize your photos and digitize a set of your favorites for each of your children then you need to make a list – mental or written – of what you want to accomplish. Put things in categories (i.e. childhood, family records, hobbies, sports, travel, etc.).

Stay Positive
While others are moaning about the deep freeze, you need to energize your thinking. Put your happy face on and get excited about starting something new. The moment you open that closet to find those boxes of photos you’ll throw yourself right into the middle of a family treasure hunt. Repeat after me: Hmm, what’s in here? Put some music on. Singing and dancing while cleaning a closet really isn’t that much work. The point here is that you should do something – anything – that gets you motivated to work on your resolution and doesn’t require you to leave the house.

Here’s the fun part. With a Flip-Pal mobile scanner you’ll have the versatility and mobility to scan anywhere, even under a stack of blankets in front of the television while watching another weather update. The Flip-Pal scanner has the ability to scan photos in about six seconds when it’s set to 300 dpi (dots per inch) or about 12 seconds at 600 dpi. You could essentially scan a shoebox of photos while watching the news. Remember to use a patented Flip-Pal Sketch Kit to easily make notes of the photos you’re scanning. This will simplify the organizing process once you download the images. Use the StoryScans talking images software to record the story about each photo.


Even sifting through stacks of shoe boxes filled with photos can be draining. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

Download your scanned images; label them in a way that will help you identify them later on; and reorganize images into subfolders labeled by either topic, date, person, event, or purpose.

Toss any photos that aren’t flattering, in focus or generally considered keepers. Save your favorites and the important images that document lives and toss the ones you can live without. A trash can filled with junk is motivating. Shred it if you need to. Keep moving.

Preserving a memory and keeping it simple is like a warm breeze on a cool day.
At least you didn’t let this idea freeze.

by Mary Danielsen: Documented Legacy, LLC

4 Responses to Declutter. Get Organized

  1. Ginger Lee January 26, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

    I need some clarification before I start this massive scanning project.

    Will I be able to “sort” the photos I scan, and place them in albums (or whatever) AFTER they are scanned, or do I need to have them in chronological order (or whatever I choose to be the organization method) BEFORE they are scanned?

    Thanks so much. The answer to this question will greatly motivate me.

    • Gordon Nuttall January 27, 2018 at 11:08 am #

      Each scan will be named sequentially – SCAN0010, SCAN0011, SCAN0012, and so on. You don’t need to sort them before scanning. There are many ways people organize them from there. I can recommend the book “Photo Organizing Made Easy: Going from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed” by Cathi Nelson. Available at

  2. Flip-Pal January 30, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    You could use the StoryScans feature in Toolbox 4 to voice record the who and where info on the back of the photos. For more information go to this page on StoryScans.

  3. Barbara-Ann Winter January 30, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    Love the under the blanket part, I scan my photos while watching TV. I do front and then the back where I have the information of who & where on them. Thanks for the declutter article,

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