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Organizing Your Family Photo Collection: Is Perfectionism Holding You Back?

By Christine Sutton

Photographs are so important to us, and most of us consider our photographs to be our greatest treasure. It can be pretty intimidating to face the task of caring for your greatest physical treasure.

It is such a big deal, in fact, that we may have unspoken visions of how we see ourselves handling this task. Whether we're aware of it or not, most of us would hope to pull off something of Martha Stewart's caliber when it comes to how OUR photographs would be arranged and displayed. (We should note that we're referring to Martha's artistic creativity, not her creative expression in finance).

Perhaps we have lofty visions of beautifully designed scrapbook albums, or handsome stacks of leather photo boxes neatly lining the shelves of our mahogany bookcase. (Who cares if we don't even own a mahogany bookcase - it goes better with our vision, so we throw it in there.)

Some of us are so afraid of not living up to these unspoken expectations, that we'd rather not even attempt it. (Maybe we hear our mother's voice echoing in our heads, "If you can't do it the right way, then don't do it at all!") So we continue along telling ourselves that we will do it someday and when we do, it will be perfect.

Perfectionism is basically a fear of doing it incorrectly. To overcome this, recognize it and then get over it! A major oversimplification, right?

Well, look at it this way. Don't you have lots of areas in your life where you consciously decided to lighten up your standards? Perhaps you don't make your bed as carefully (or at all!) or your house isn't impeccably maintained the way that your mother did it.

But so what? You have a real life and you need to get on with it, right? It's the same with your pictures. Make the decision to get on with it! Don't worry about making a mistake and doing it the "wrong way." There is no wrong way -- unless of course you use unsafe materials or keep your photographs in unsafe environments.

And you've got a much greater risk of doing that when you don't do anything at all! Take action and don't be afraid to make course corrections along the way. Anything you do to capture your memories and preserve photographs will be a gift - to your loved ones and to yourself!

Excerpted from Save Your Photos and Your Sanity: How to Organize and Safeguard Your Entire Photograph as little as 10 days, without losing your mind!"


About The Author
Christine Sutton and her business partner, Tracey DuBois have helped countless people organize, protect, and enjoy their precious photographs. As authors of "Save Your Photos and Your Sanity and producers of "Treasure Your Memories", they take a unique and FUN approach to organizing photographs. They offer a FREE Photo Organizing Idea Kit at


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