Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Organize Your Video and Picture Library

With the holidays fast approaching, and families getting together to celebrate, one of the most important things you can do to preserve your memories is to organize your video and picture library. So many of us have our photos and videos scattered all about, usually with little or no back-up. Not only is it harder to find a specific image, it is at a high risk of being lost forever. You can do this task yourself, or hire a professional organizer to help.

Use a Dedicated External Hard Drive

Using an external hard drive to store your video and pictures on it will keep you from taking up space on your computer's hard drive. Buy an external hard drive to use only as your picture and video library. Keep it in a safe place, and you will always have your special memories.

Label Photos

Label all photos as you save them, videos too. Don't keep dropping all your images into one file. Spend some time sorting out the ones you want to keep, and delete the rest. If you have several similar photos, choose the highest quality one to keep. Take the time to label each image and video with dates, the names of the people in them, and where it was taken. If it was from a special event, make note of that as well.

Label Folders

Label photo and video folders in order to stay organized. Make a separate folder for each event you took pictures of. Label it with the date and event name. Random images can be placed in folders labeled with the year and season. For example, pictures in the summer months could all be classified as "summer 2013."

Empty Your SD Card Regularly

We have all been guilty of this. We keep way too many pictures and videos on the SD card in the camera. Empty the SD Card routinely. By clearing photos from your SD card, you are making sure you'll never get stuck without enough room. Having a full card can lead to hastily deleting photos and videos you will later wish you had kept. You could also miss a current photo opportunity. If you can't remove photos after each event, set up a specific day each month to do it.

Keep Copies of All Pictures and Videos

Have at least two copies of your saved photos. Choose two places to keep them from among the following choices.

  • Computer or Laptop
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Hard Drive
  • Thumb Drive
  • Internet Storage

A Professional Organizing Service can help you with this. Keep each copy in a different spot, preferably far from each other. That way if a disaster destroys your pictures in one area, you will still have them in the other location. A cloud-based service on the web is ideal for a secure second place, especially in the case of a flood, fire, or other natural disaster.

You can also keep a copy with other important items in a fire proof storage safe or a safe deposit box. Remember to check your pictures each year to assure they are still readable. You will need to make new copies every five years, so as not to lose the data. This also holds true with
digital data storage for your home- or work-related documents.
A Professional Organizer could be essential if you have several years of photos and video. They can help you get everything arranged and labeled, ready for safe keeping. Whether you have done the work yourself or not, be sure to keep up with all future images. Nothing is more devastating than to lose those special moments caught on video and in pictures.


Robert Mizrahi
Chaos Commandos

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tips on How to Organize Your Kitchen Pantry

Woman with a Professionally Organized Pantry
While a kitchen pantry is a great room and space to have in your home it is important to keep it organized to ensure that it will function as it is supposed to, especially with all of the baking and cooking for guests and family going on at this time of year. 

An organized pantry will allow you to find the things that you need easily and quickly. A pantry can easily be organized by making a place for everything, sorting food by type and brand, adding new products in an organized manner and keeping up with the organization.

The first step to organization is making sure that everything has a place. Plan the way that the pantry will be organized, completely empty it and begin putting things back where you planned to put them. 

Doing this will allow you to have a visual idea of what your pantry will look like and how organized it will be. Having a visual tool before beginning the actual organization will help make the organization go smoother. It may take extra time to make a plan but it will make things much easier when organizing the pantry and keeping it organized.

The key to good organization is good sorting. Sorting your pantry by different food types as well as different container sizes helps you when adding new items, looking for items and can even increase the space you have in your pantry. Some ideas for sorting the pantry include:

  • Put items that are the same together. For example, if you have cans of pears put them all in one spot and if you have jars of spaghetti sauce put them in their own place.
  • Within the type of food organize by size. Always put larger sizes towards the back and smaller sizes towards the front to make sure that you can see everything clearly.
  • Take advantage of a practice that professional organizers and many grocery stores use. Always put new items towards the back and older items towards the front. This will help you remember to use older items first and will help keep things from expiring while they are sitting in the pantry.
One of the biggest problems people experience when keeping their pantry organized is putting new items in. Before you begin organization, plan how you will put your newly purchased items into the pantry. If you are planning on buying canned goods often, make sure that there is plenty of room in the pantry for new items. It is also a good idea to take your time when putting groceries away. While it can be tempting to just put the new things in the pantry in any way it will save you a lot of hassle to continue your good organization when adding new items.

Even with good organization, it can be hard to keep up with it. Oftentimes it may be more beneficial to use the services of a professional kitchen organizer to get started with your organization. After the initial organization upkeep is very simple and can be done easily and quickly. Take a certain time about every month that you go through your pantry, get rid of expired items and dust or clean off cans and jars. If you find items in your pantry that you don't ever use, make sure that you throw them away or donate them for others to use.

Whether you are an already organized person or learning new organization skills, a professional organizing service will be able to help you with all of your organizing needs. Sometimes it is hard to do large tasks without any help and an organization service will give you extra support and teach you new organization techniques.

Robert Mizrahi
Professional Organizer in NYC
Chaos Commandos