Friday, February 20, 2009

No, it's not about crop circles!

My dirty little secret as a professional organizer is that I have about a dozen boxes, admittedly nicely containerized, on a shelf in my storage room, full of photographs, empty photo albums, empty film envelopes, negatives, cute frames I've picked up here and there, and other random, related photo items.

It's been a project on my back burner for a number of years to get these photos organized. I even carted them all over to Macedonia a few years ago thinking I would use all of my free time to finally finish this massive undertaking. Well, I carted every one of the boxes back over here from Romania, untouched, a couple of years ago.

So I went to a new friend's house last night for a "crop night". More about that in a minute. Her name is Lisa Emerson and she is a Creative Memories consultant. She is a friend of a good friend. I was very interested in what, exactly, Creative Memories was all about.

A "crop night" is simply a gathering of people (usually, maybe always, women) who bring whatever photo-related project they are working on and, well, work on it! The best I can tell, the phrase "crop night" or "crop party" refers to the action of "cropping" photos to place into photo albums, scrapbooks or frames. Lisa provides delicious brownies, fruit, other snacks, drinks and maybe even an adult beverage or two!

What it did for me was force me to go to my storage room, pick up one of my photo boxes, put it in my car, take it over to Lisa's house and start the process I've been meaning to start for years. It was a fun environment and we all just happily worked away. If you wanted to join in the conversation, you could. If you wanted to quietly work and focus on your photo sorting or scrapbook pages, you could do that, too. No pressure.

John assumed, probably correctly, that "crop night" was similar to my book club: a seemingly high-brow or productive, creative endeavor cleverly disguised as an excuse to get out of the house and drink wine! I will not deny it.

I highly recommend finding a buddy or someone like Lisa (Creative Memory consultants can be found all over the country) to inject a little fun into what can seem like the lonely, arduous task of sorting through boxes and boxes of photos. Remember, you didn't take all those pictures in a day. Give yourself time to get your memories and photos in whatever order suits you: from simple, labeled shoeboxes to elaborately creative scrapbooks.

If you want to see what products Lisa offers to help organize photos and other memorabilia, go to her website at FYI, I bought the Power Sort Box. It's fantastically constructed, costs $35 and holds an amazing 2,400 photos!! I'm definitely not a scrapbooker and you don't have to be to benefit from some of the CM products.

Happy cropping!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Well put Lauri. The task of going through old photos is much more fun when you are around others who appreciate it. At my crops, you will have all levels of "scrapbookers", where many lessons are learned and ideas are shared, which is why I enjoy opening up my home for them. Thanks for passing on the word.