Saturday, January 4, 2014

UPDATE: Decluttering & Kids - Artwork

*Minimalist Reading - NO time to read this long post? Just read the bold parts and you'll get the summary version! You're welcome!

I previously posted about decluttering, kids and artwork. If you haven't read that post, you could take a look at it HERE. I'm not going to recap everything I covered but I am going to update a bit and maybe streamline the whole process in a more condensed form of 'instructions' on how to make this work for you.

Why an Update?

It's just past the holiday season for us - that means Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year just wrapped up. Now the 5 and 6 year old are ....drum roll.... 6 and 7 years old! (Life is good!) but the art work has increased, not slowed down.

The girls have spent a solid 2 weeks off of school and now they are heading back (As in, this coming Monday!) so what should we do with our weekend but tackle 'The Beast' aka the Art Wall.

Previously, when I talked about managing the art work mess (because, really, that is what it is) I said that I was updating our scrapbook every week. Well...that fell flat quickly! Nobody has time for that!

I've settled for updating only during the girls' school breaks (or when the art wall gets CRAZY! but trust me...we just pile that art work on there if we can! One on top of another, over another, over another!)

I'm going to walk you through the actual step-by-step of what a ONE day digital scrapbook marathon looks like for me.

How often should you do this: Once or Twice a Year

Tools you will Need:

  • A Mixbook account (FREE) - Referral link ~ Thank you!
  • A Dropbox account (FREE) - Referral link ~ Thank you!
  • A Phone with the Dropbox app or a Camera with the ability to download your photos to your computer
  • A mountain of artwork that needs to be organized
  • If you are using your phone to upload your photos, make sure you are able to use WiFi to upload them or that you won't mess up your phone data plan by uploading a gazillion photos. Wifi = good.

Simplest Steps:

1) In your Free Dropbox account, set up the following file structure

Create a folder called 'Scrapbook' or 'Mixbook'
Inside that folder - Create the folder '2013' (or whatever year the photos were taken)
Inside the folder 2013: Create two folders 'Family' and 'Art'
Inside the folder 'Art': create one folder for each child. Only have one? Skip this step.
Do this for each year.

* Set up your phone to automatically upload your photos to Dropbox whenever it has access to your home/free Wifi. (Otherwise, you can easily go over your data limit)

2) Take photos of ALL the artwork that your child/ren brings home. I do this two or three times a year, not every week as I had said before. Weekly is just too much work.

3) Go through ALL photos after they have been uploaded to Dropbox and delete any that are blurry, out of focus, people are blinking, unflattering, or otherwise not something you would want in your scrapbook. Art work, you just make sure you don't have duplicates.

4) Delete ALL photos off of your phone/camera that you have uploaded to Dropbox.

5) When you have uploaded all of the family/art photos you are going to for the year, your folders are done/full!

6) Upload all the Family photos for the year into one mixbook (labeled correctly) and press 'Mix it' or lay it out manually in the way you want your scrapbook to look. Press save.

7) Upload all the Art photos for each child into separate mixbooks (labeled correctly) and press 'Mix it' or lay it out manually in the way you want your scrapbook to look. Press save.

You are done scrapbooking an entire year's worth of art/family photos in a matter of a few hours.

This is my process for scrapbooking. It's lazy, easy, and saves me a lot of time. I just 'mix' the artwork for the girls and don't bother laying them out. I *DO* put a photo of the girl on the cover of her art book, but that's it for customization.

Do you Print or do you Email?

Personally, I email links to family and friends. It has always been my intention to send these out as Christmas gifts but I never get around to it - because I'm lazy. One of these days, I might get around to it. But I think most people in our family prefer digital.

That's it! I've actually spent more time on this blog post than on doing the scrapbooks today. (I'm waiting patently as all 800 photos upload....*rolling beach ball* so...yeah. I hope this was helpful in tackling your artwork mess! Remember - Work Smarter, Digitally, not Harder!

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