The average family has thousands of printed photos sitting in boxes, bins and bags, needing to be organized. If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone!
Organizing printed photos is a daunting task that, given the time, can turn those piles of photos into easily accessed memories!
Here’s your step by step list to get this labor intensive project started:
- Create a workspace. This organizing process will likely take some time to complete and you will need ample room. I suggest using a large table that you can leave undisturbed: a dining room table or folding table in a basement works well.
- Gather. Collect all photos you have throughout the house and bring to one location.
- Designate a block of time to work. Use a timer and set it for 1 – 2 hour increments. You cannot stop your life in order to tackle this project. Therefore, you will need to work this task into your life.
- Choose a storage option. Decide which storage option(s) you prefer : photo albums, boxes or both. Personally, I use both. The best way to store your printed photos is to use archival quality products. They should be acid-free, lignin-free and pvc-free.
- Sort and Edit. Go through your photos sorting them into 3 separate categories.
- Worthwhile photos you want to keep for your photo album. Part of this process includes editing. Select only those photos which truly mean something to you.
- Secondary photos that are important enough to keep and store in a box but not album-worthy.
- Toss or re-purpose (scrapbooking). These include duplicates, blurry pictures, poorly exposed shots, a bad view, etc.
- Organize. There are a few ways to organize your photos once they are sorted.
- Organizing by theme or event (i.e.weddings, birthdays, vacations, etc.)
- You can organize photos chronologically. Be careful here, as this can be a stumbling block for some, try not to get up hung up on capturing the exact date but rather group a few years together (i.e.1999- 2002)
- You can also organize by family member ( i.e. Jimmy’s Photo album)