Declutter Pre-K to 12 School Pictures

 


“Ugghy” Blue and Faux Rainbow Backdrops

Have you ever wondered what the heck to do with all of those Pre-K to 12th grade school pictures? Mundane and cheesy, yes, but it is YOUR child and it does serve as a fundraiser for the school, so let’s face it, you’re going to buy them. A bunch of them, most likely!

I don’t understand why you can’t buy just one picture instead of packages of 100’s and I can’t imagine who in the world decided that a bright blue background or a fake rainbow looks good hanging on anybody’s living room wall?  Yes, those are our precious babies and they are adorable even with a faux background, but that still doesn’t mean I want them hanging on my wall. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a bad mother, but honestly, I don’t think my kids really want them hanging on the wall either.

So, what do you do with all those pictures?

Well, for about 15 years, I kept them in a nice box. One for each kid, 15 to 100+/- pictures for each year, Pre-K thru 12. Until a couple of months ago, when I decided to clean out the “junk” closet (ok, you know me well enough now, one of the “junk” closets) to make room for my craft supplies that I would be moving to the downstairs closet whenever/if ever, I clean out the craft room upstairs, again! You might be able to relate, it’s a vicious cycle. I plan to write a post about how to clean out a really full closet and reorganize it soon, but I have to figure out how to do that first. Ha, ha!

ADHD moment: My little craft room used to be a craft room, then I cleaned it out to be my husband’s office, then I moved my craft supplies back in there to be a craft room again and somehow, they just took over the space. Craft supplies just seem to have a way of doing this to a room, a house, a barn or all of the above! Lol. Good luck with this, right? Another project for another day.

Now back to the school photos. The first thing that I thought of when I found these boxes was that I couldn’t even remember how long it had been since I had opened them up. And secondly, after I opened them, why in the world did I think I needed to buy and keep all of these photos of the same child, same pose, same old blue background? I mean, you can only get away with giving so many of them as Christmas gifts. Lol.

So, this is what I decided to do. I took all the pictures out and sorted them into piles by each child, then by school year (x 2, twice a year). Oh my gosh, I had forgotten that they take school pictures twice a year. Really, how much does a kid change in six months once they are in kindergarten? But anyway, I then started the process of photo elimination.

Step by Step Easy to Follow Plan:
  • Pull one 8×10 picture from each photo session
  • Take a picture of the photo with your cell phone
  • Send to an album on your phone
  • Cut out 2-3 wallet pics in case they want to give to their kids one day
  • Cut a 2×3 or 5×7 for each of the other siblings. Nice to have if they ever want to blackmail their brothers or sisters
  • Place the 8×10 and wallets in a large envelope
  • Do this for each school year
  • Toss envelope of photos into a storage tote.  Stick a label on the side with their name and L👀k at that!  You have just created a Memory Tote for your children that they can take with them when they leave home.  

Presto, magico!   They have photos from every school year (x 2) and you have eliminated your school picture clutter!

For both kids, this took me about an hour. It was quick, super decluttering and so refreshing to accomplish! Easy access. No more digging through photo albums or boxes.  And, I don’t think there is a better way to embarrass your children than by sharing their school photos with your grandchildren. Lol.

 

Now, my long-range plan is to upload the photos that I saved on my phone to Chatbooks and create one book with all of their pictures together. I think it’ll be so cool to flip thru the book and see the changes from year to year, all in one place! Don’t hold your breath, but I’ll keep you posted on this progress.

I guess if I was really serious about decluttering, I’d just make a Chatbook for each child and they wouldn’t have any photo clutter either. You could snap the photos, eliminate all the steps above, toss all the pictures and just create the books. Truth is, I’m not sure I could throw away ALL of the cute little stinker’s school pictures.  However, I CAN put them in THEIR boxes so that one day they will be the ones dealing with their own clutter and I won’t have a guilty conscience about tossing all of their school pictures in the trash. Lol

Remember: Snap a quick photo, save a couple for the Memory Tote and toss the rest!!!  No guilt!

If you declutter your kid’s school pictures, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

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