The best way to organize your photos is to start now and do it. Don’t put this off or you may never get it done. I know, I’ve been there and it’s a painful place to be. My mom is there and never organized our childhood photos and all us kids are heading towards forty and older. Yikes!
It doesn’t have to be this way if you employ these simple strategies. You’ll organize photos in five steps as follows.
First pull out your box or pile of photos and put them on the dining room table. Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the pile. If you don’t think you can handle it in one evening, set a timer for 30 minutes and work for that long each night. If you choose this route, be sure pick a place in the house where you can leave your project out for a few nights.
Second quickly go through the pile looking at each photo. Toss any pictures that are blurry and unfocused. Give away your duplicate pictures or toss. Include negatives in this weed out process. Get rid of old negatives and keep only those of very special photos. Remember, if you toss a negative you really want, you can still have a duplicate of the picture made from the actual picture.
Third put the pictures in chronological order and don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Fourth decide how you’re going to store your photos. Will you scrapbook, put in photo albums, hang on the wall, put in storage boxes, or all of these? Decide what you’re going to do and create piles for each of these categories. For the pictures you hang on the wall, you may want to get these enlarged. Just be sure to follow up and do it within the next week while your organizing momentum is going.
Fifth finalize your photo organizing journey by storing your photos in the method(s) you chose above. This may be overwhelming depending on the amount of photos you have. If so, then continue to set a timer and work accordingly each day and you will organize your photos in no time.
Below are some more tips on different categories of how to organize photos.
If scrap booking is your thing, great. If not, read on… I don’t like scrap booking as it takes up too much time and the supplies are hard to store. But, I do have a few scrapbooks of the kids that they love to look at. The trick is to not get too fancy or complicated.
Target has great scrapbook materials and even sells whole kits. For our fourth child, I bought a kit to include photos of my husband and myself pregnant and her as a newborn. Everything I needed was in the kit except of course the non-acid tape and glue. I finished the book in a couple of hours.
Be sure when scrap booking to use acid free materials to preserve your pictures along with a scrap booking pen to make special notes with the pictures that will be enjoyed for a long time. There’s no need to buy fancy storage boxes for supplies. I keep my scrap booking supplies in a couple of plastic shoe boxes.
For me, photo albums are the way to go to organize photos. Simply order your photos and when they come, plop them in the album and you’re done.
I like to buy photo albums with a place where I can make comments about the pictures on the side.
Keep it all simple and don't obsess about where you place the pictures. There have been many times when I’ve been putting pictures in a photo album to realize they were out of order. Who cares? I don’t as long as my photos are out of the photo order envelope and placed in an album for us to enjoy.
Pictures should be stored between 73 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (°F). Placing them in albums is the best storage bet to maintain a constant temperature.
As with all photo storage, use acid free photo albums to preserve your pictures.
Photo Storage Boxes
If you organize photos by keeping them in storage boxes, keep them in acid free boxes and store in a cool dry place.
With the advent of digital photography, picture storage became much easier. You can arrange, delete, and name your pictures all before placing an order.
Store your whole picture collection online. Purchase CD’s to store them on. I keep my CD's in a locked safe in addition to online storage.
Just don’t let your photos pile up on your digital camera. Be disciplined and download your pictures regularly. Make it a point to download monthly or when you reach a certain number of pictures on your camera.
Remember to keep your photos organized with the following tips.
Whether you process your photos at home, or have a merchant do it for you, you definitely want to set some time aside to organize them as they come in. Make some time to put photos away in their dedicated spot(s) whether that be a photo album, box, book, etc. Wherever you store your pictures, take some time to make notes about the pictures such as dates and events, and put these on the back of the pictures or alongside in the photo album. This is just a nice thing to do for future generations. Make sure to toss any bad shots too. Don’t let your pictures get backlogged again in either the print form or on your digital camera.
Please remember when your organize photos, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If your aim is perfection, you may never finish the project. Get your pictures in photo albums, on the walls, in scrapbooks and start enjoying them with your family. Pictures are a lot of fun to look at and enjoy with your family.
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