Best Books On Organizing

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I love books.


I always have. I am a constant reader. I love nothing better than to curl up with a good book and my dog. I’m a simple woman.

I thought now would be a good time to share a small list of the organizing books that I turn to again and again. A few might be surprising…a personal finance book? Take a look at my list and brainstorm how one of these might help you get a little more organized. I’d love to get the titles of organizing books that you find helpful…or not helpful.

It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff
By Peter Walsh
Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul
By Ruth Soukup
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
By Francine Jay
The Automatic Millionaire, Expanded and Updated: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich
By David Bach
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
By Marie Kondo
Why Read This Book? Why Read This Book? Why Read This Book? Why Read This Book? Why Read This Book?
Peter Walsh is brilliant at exposing the link between your stuff and your emotions.
This is especially important when organizing photos.
While not specifically a photo organizing book, the concepts he discusses are crucial to achieving peaceful organization.
What I love about this book is the discussion about living your life as your real self vs our idealized self. In photo organizing it is so easy to chuck any photo you don't like of yourself...but sometimes that's your best self.This book is one of my foundational books. For me minimalism is not about throwing everything away. Minimalism is about letting go of what does not matter to make space for what does.You might be surprised to find a personal finance book on my list of my favorite organizing books...but follow the money. If your finances are disorganized so is everything else. If you only read one book on this list...make it this one.What I love about this book is the idea that the objects in your house effect you emotionally. I was shocked when I did the exercise touching objects how clear my yes/no response was. To this day, I do not miss one thing I said "no" to.
I do the same with my photos...keep/toss. My heart knows the answer

Four Tips To Declutter and Organize Your Digital Photos


December 2016 Facebook Statistic

The above quote is from Facebook. They are a photo storage giant. 90 billion photos. Can you imagine?!


Here’s the thing…I bet you can. I bet you feel like you have nine billion photos on your phone alone. You probably have another 60 in the cloud…whatever that means? And 160 billion on your hard drive. Let’s face it…we have a lot of digital photos. A LOT. I find the Facebook statistic fascinating because, that’s a lot of photos, that statistic is JUST Facebook. It doesn’t even include Instagram (which Facebook owns) or Twitter or holy cow…Snapchat!! We are drowning in digital photos. I know I am. By my last count, I’m at 30,000. That’s unique images. Not to mention why must iPhoto do that weird face thing? Why?! Does anyone like it? I will say it does give me a chuckle when it picks out my dog’s face or I have one of the Mona Lisa who it thinks is a friend of mine…awesome.

Here are five tips that will help you to organize and declutter your part of the 200 million photos before they get uploaded to Facebook.


This first step is crucial. You have to get all your photos into one place. Please do not say “Hodgepodge Girl…they are ALL on my phone!” I will save my rant about leaving photos on your phone for another day. For now, download them to whatever photo service you use: iPhoto, Google photo, Amazon, Window’s photo gallery, Forever, Lightroom



  1. Delete Duplicates. I like to use Photo Sweeper for macs and Duplicate Photo Fixer Pro for PCs. DPFP is capable of doing both…I just prefer PS.
  2. Now that you have a good idea of how many original photos you have…you need to start deleting. This is usually the hardest part for people because keeping the image seems easier than deleting. It’s not. I’ve   even had clients who had no idea who people in the photo were…but were sure they should keep it. Why?! I might figure it out someday. Ahem…no you won’t.  No one is so bored they peruse old digital photos to see if they can remember people they forgot. It’s not going to happen. Delete.
  3. Your photo collection is now so clean and shiny. It’s time to start tagging. This is a step that is often overlooked because…it’s tedious. We all love the instant gratification of taking a photo, some even download them, but NO ONE wants to tag…before it lands on social media. The thing is tagging…before you upload to your Facebook is VERY, VERY important for you. It makes it really easy to find pictures later on if you should want to use them for gifts or slideshows or just quick trip down memory lane. I recommend tagging the following info: YEAR, EVENT, PERSON (2016, Park City Ski Trip, Danny) That way you can do really quick searches to pull up a great range of photos. Some fun ideas would be a year in review slideshow, a calendar for Danny, a photo album of ski trips. So get tagging!
  4. Now that you have your digital photo collection organized, decluttered, tagged it’s time to get it off your hard drive. There are a lot of great cloud services. I use Forever and I love it. I have an app on my phone and iPad so I can have all my photos handy and they don’t take up any of my storage space. I can make quick gifts and have them shipped. I can even share photo albums with my friends and family. Not to mention they are safe from technical glitches (dropping my phone) that can happen when your photos aren’t backed up.

I hope this has given you some great ideas on how to move digitally clutter free into the New Year. Happy 2017!!


5 Best Organizing Products For Your Photos

*This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Read more about this in our disclosure policy.


It’s crunch time. Not only are a few of the major holidays right around the corner we are fast approaching the end of the year. That’s right kids!! It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions!!! Here is a list of the 5 best products for organizing your photos.


Courtesy of Statistic Brain

Honestly, I find the resolutions on this list kinda wonderful. I want all these things (except the quit smoking…I want my husband to quit smoking cigars but I don’t think you can make resolutions for others…can you?) It’s a great list! All of them totally achievable with a little bit of work and a lot of support.


Today’s post is going to center on the #2 goal “get organized” but hopefully it will help you to spend less (when you know what you have you don’t need more), learn something exciting, help others, spend more time with family, and (my favorite) enjoy life to the fullest.

To access more information on each item, click the image to be redirected.

  1.  Acid-Free Photo Storage Boxes

These are THE only way to store print photos that you are not using regularly. They protect your print photos from UV damage, bending, and are easy to store. Each box holds 1,100 4×6 photographs. That’s a lot of storage.

2.Acid-Free Photo Albums

These are for your very best/frequently viewed photos. The photos that deserve to be on the coffee table. These albums are beautiful and should be for your A-level photos. Switching to acid-free albums is a must to save and protect your family print photographs.

3.16GB Picture Keeper

This is a fantastic way to back up and protect your digital photos without committing to a cloud service. Works with both PC and Macs and could not be simpler to use. My only “extra” tip here would be to store this in your waterproof/fireproof safe. That way your images are triple protected from loss.

4.Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

This little scanner is amazing. It runs on a battery which makes it easy to use anywhere. The resolution of the pictures scanned is as good as my super fancy scanner. This is perfect for when you come across a print photo that you want to save and share. I’d be lost without mine.

5.10.4 Inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame with Email

This is not your everyday digital photo frame. Not only does it show your digital photos in high-resolution, you, your friends, and family can email photos directly to the frame itself. You can also sync your iPhone directly to the device and skip your computer entirely.

These five items are my absolute must for photo organization. They each provide a layer of safety and preservation for your photos while also being easy to use. I am confident that with these few items you can completely reorganize and protect your family photos.


Protect Your Family Photos

The most important part of my job is to encourage you to make a plan today to protect your family photos.


In the last couple of weeks, mother nature has thrown the mother of all temper tantrums. She has let loose with fires, floods, earthquakes and even a double tornado. A lot of people have had life altering loss and my heart goes out to everyone who is impacted by these events.

As we move forward we can prepare. We can hope that nothing like this happens again but the reality is…it will. If you haven’t created a disaster plan for yourself or your family, please use this opportunity to create one. When I was a kid, my parents would hold regular family meetings to review what we do in a fire. As an adult, my husband and I discuss our earthquake plan. We have emergency supplies. We’ve planned. That even includes what to do with our photos and important documents.

In poll after poll people say that when the evacuation call comes they take their family, pets, and photos. The stuff that really matters. While I am a hundred percent down with the first two, I say forget the third and run! Yes, I’m a photo organizer. Yes, I live and breathe photos. Yes, I believe that your family photos are incredibly valuable. They are also replaceable.You, your family, and your pets are not.

It takes only a few minutes to create a plan for how to protect your photos. There are a few simple questions to ask yourself:

How are your photos formatted? Are they prints? Are they digital?

What type of disaster are you trying to protect yourself from?

How tech savvy are you? Are you comfortable on-line?

I always encourage clients to digitize ALL their photos as the best way to keep them safe. If your photos are in print form there are still a few things you can do to protect them from smoke or water damage.


  1. Get a waterproof/fireproof safe: these are not actually waterproof but they will protect photos and albums from most of the damage. It only takes an inch of water to destroy photos so anything you do is better than nothing.
  2. Zquaredaway bags These bags are made from the same material as firefighter uniforms. They offer fire protection and some water protection. The main benefit of these is that they are easily portable.

If your photos are already digitized…YAY! You’ve already made the best step toward keeping your photos safe. My tip for digital photos has much more to do with your computer. I don’t want you running around wasting precious moments looking for your phone or your laptop. Get your photos off those devices and into a cloud service. There are many, many great options loaded with tons of security to keep your pictures private. If you are using this service strictly as a backup and do not want any bells and whistles I recommend using Amazon cloud drive. I use it myself. If you have prime it’s free, unlimited storage. It doesn’t have a lot of the features of a pay service but for a simple backup, it works great.

If you have digitized your photos and do not feel comfortable with cloud services (HI MOM!) There are still things you can do. These thumb drives from picture keeper are specifically designed for photos. Upload your photos to this drive, they hold an amazing amount of pictures, and then put the drive in your safe or Zquared away bag.

I can’t encourage you enough to do something to protect your photos. Just take a few minutes. Don’t lose your family history.



Great Photo Organizing Products

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. Read more about this in our disclosure policy.

A common mistake people make when starting an organizing project is to go out and buy a lot of organizing products. The idea behind this shopping spree is that “If I have the right product/system/box I will automatically be organized and won’t need to do any actual work.”


I’m not blaming the shopper, the consumer industry is working day and night to make you believe that if you only had their products you would be organized, beautiful, well-dressed, likable etc. The problem, dear friend, is not you. The products will not solve the problem.

If you have a great big ol’ hodgepodge mess there is not a system in the world that is going to tame that monster. You have to wade in and get to work.

While this post/tip is about which products I recommend, I don’t want you to be under the impression that a pretty box is going to solve your problems. You need to do the work of sorting first. You need to eliminate the junk. You need to, brace yourself, throw stuff out.

Here’s why.

Let’s say you look at your pile of photos and estimate that you need five acid-free boxes and two photo albums to hold your stuff. That will make you organized, you think.

The reality is, 1/2 of the photos are of people, places, pets you can’t remember why you saved. A quarter is mildewed and damaged and just not worth saving. That leaves you with only needing maybe two boxes and a photo album. That’s being organized.

If you move the same stuff into a new container it’s not organized it’s contained. It’s called Container Store for a reason, not Organizer store.

Now that I’ve convinced you to sort your pictures before going shopping….


Here are a few of the photo organizing basic products that I use again and again.These three items will get you through most photo organizing projects. It’s just a matter of how much do you need.

The links are to Amazon but you can get most of these products through other vendors. The reason I like Amazon is because of their Prime two-day shipping, their price matching (just call them), and the very easy return service. Happy shopping!
Acid-free boxes are a great way to store print photos that you want to save but not necessarily keep out on display. It not only keeps them organized, it protects the photos from damage.

 This flip scanner may seem like a bit of a luxury for a non-professional but I use the heck out of mine. It’s the perfect size for scanning photos or receipts and the clarity is really fantastic. This is perfect for those print photos you want to share or for photos whose color has faded and you want to spruce up before reprinting.


  Acid-free albums are for your A-level photos. These are meant to be taken out and looked at again and again. Unlike those horrible magnetic albums (think sticky pages) these albums are preserving your photos not destroying them. You can feel good that not only are your photos lovingly displayed, they are protected from everyday hazards.

Organization Ideas For Non-Organizers


Even the most organized homes have areas or members that refuse to embrace the idea of order. The non-organizers. In my house it is my husband, who I loving call “the master of the mess.” I’m always trying to impress on him the glory of organization but somehow he refuses to embrace my obsession. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck. In the meantime, here are some organization ideas for non-organizers.


My husband has a bunch of baseball cards he has had since childhood.


He claims he wants to save them because they “might be worth something…someday.” I say he’s full of hooey.

A lot of people fall into the trap of saving things for “someday” or they put off doing that organizing project until “someday.” I say they are full of hooey.

Let’s take the plastic box full of baseball cards as our example. For the sake of argument let’s say that in this box is a baseball card worth potentially $1 million dollars. How on worth would the hubs know that? He is a very smart man but I doubt he remembers every card that is in this box.

I’ll even stretch this argument further and pretend that the card is in this box and he remembers it…look at how these are stored! In a plastic box, in a hodgepodge jumble, getting beaten up with every jostle, the acid in the paper slowly destroying the integrity of the card and fading the color. This is no way to treat a prize possession, a potential million dollar investment.

How much better would it be if he took the time to sort and store these cards properly? He could eliminate useless cards, preserve potentially valuable cards, and display cards that were special to him.
 All it would take is an afternoon, an acid-free box, and the willingness to let go of the “someday” mentality.

When you find yourself putting off that organizing project to “someday” ask your self why. What is keeping you from revealing something of real value beneath a lot of stuff?


In the case of the hubs, I believe, it’s because he doesn’t want to make a mistake. He doesn’t want to get rid of something that is potentially valuable. I understand. That would stink.

My thought to him is that stored as it is….it all has no value. If he took the time to sort it he might find a real treasure buried beneath a lot of somedays.

What reason do you give for not wanting to get organized?