It’s not just you. The pros experience overwhelm when looking at the messy chaos that is their next project. I experienced overwhelm with this project.
I had tackled larger messes as an in-home caregiver to seniors with hoarding tendencies, but this one I stuffed in my car and brought home with me. This one, this chaos came into my home office and lived there for a while. The magnitude of this project became overwhelming. And I felt terrible that my colleagues might be flying through more extensive projects, but I was sitting and stewing in my insecurities surrounding the size of this project. I often asked myself, “What have I agreed to?!?!”
This project was more than just stuff; this one was all the photo memories from two families going back 100 years. Unraveling decades of memories and history for them was a lot of responsibility. I wanted to do my absolute best for this family. But I didn’t know the people in these pictures. I didn’t know where or when the photographs were taken. I didn’t know what was or was not important to them.
But just like you can do, I took a breath and jumped in, one step at a time. I took breaks when I needed to. I refreshed my view of the project. I started over. I moved forward one photo at a time. And over time, it all came together.
And that is what I recommend you do when you tackle your family photos. It doesn’t matter if you have 500 or 50,000. The same steps apply no matter the size of the project. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting. Your end result doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s end project. This is your photo collection, and you can work on it as much or as little as you want. You get to do this your way. And you get to decide what that is going to look like for you.
For the next few weeks, I’m going to share my process for getting through this collection. I will share a few things I learned, a few things I tried that didn’t work, a few things I will change going forward, and my basic workflow. And along the way, we can discuss how you can use this for your photos, how to give yourself grace when the going gets rough, how to reach out for help and support, how to find more information when you get stuck, and most importantly, how to finish without quitting from overwhelm.
Believe me when I say that if I can do this, you can too.