I know what you're thinking. Oh man, aren't there enough things in this world to clean? Now we have to tidy up our Pinterest boards? I'll leave it up to you to decide if it's worth your time, but I spent an hour doing some work on mine the other day, and it felt kind of good. I use Pinterest A LOT these days, so the pins build up quickly. The more current and relevant the boards are, and easy to navigate, the more useful it is as a tool. It makes sense to tend it as you would your inbox or other paper files.
Here are a few suggestions:
Alphabetize Your Boards: If you added up all the minutes you've spent looking for a particular board, you could have written the Great American Novel by now.
Add Keywords: Pinterest is all about saving and sharing, so make things easier for everyone by including keywords or tags. Instead of just writing " I LUUURRVE THIS" try to include descriptive words instead, like "studded wallpaper" or "red Moroccan rug."
Set Up Categories: I now have multiple boards that fall under the same category and are labeled DIY Lighting, DIY Furniture, DIY Art, etc. These can themselves be alphabetized so they are all next to each other and easy to find.
Purge Unwanted Pins: Certain boards get unwieldy due to the number of pins, and could use a little thinning. Plus, everyone gets a little trigger happy with the "Pin It" button now and then. Delete those that no longer appeal to you, or that were there for a particular project and are no longer needed.
Split Up Larger Boards: Think of Pinterest boards as a plant that occasionally outgrows its pot and needs to be divided. Break up larger boards into smaller, more specific, ones. I had one board with over 200 pins of 2D objects. I went back and broke it up into three separate boards: art, wallpaper, and textiles. Now, it's much easier to find my favorites when I go looking for them.
Set Board Covers: Okay, this is a self-indulgent one, but I got some sick pleasure out of scrolling through my individual boards and setting my favorite image as the cover. Now, there no weird cropping and it just looks and feels better.
Attribute Pins: Everybody is guilty of this, myself included. But it must be so frustrating as a designer or maker to see your work floating around the internet, like disembodied heads, without context or attribution. Give credit where credit is due, and don't pin from Tumblr or re-blog images from Pinterest without noting the original source. If you note the source in the original pin, it'll save you time later while blogging. Plus, it's just the right thing to do.
Do you regularly tend to your boards? Or is it an exercise in futility?
Re-edited from a post originally published 1/10/2013 - DF