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While the majority of picture taking these days is done digitally, if you are anything like many, you have a stash of photos tucked away somewhere in your home. It may be intended for your child’s baby book or precious family photographs from years past that you have been meaning to put in a photo album. Regardless of how old or random they may be, sorting and organizing photos can be an overwhelming tasks. Rather than continuing to ignore those boxes or envelopes of photos, let break organizing those photographs in to five easy steps. Ready?
Step 1 – Collect:
Dig out all the bins, boxes, envelopes and stashes of photos and relocate them to one central sorting place. If you have a large amount and know you won’t be able to complete this task in one session, find a place or table in your home where you can spread out without having to relocate come mealtime or when you need the spot again.
Step 2 – Edit:
Set aside pictures that are doubles, blurry, redundant or don’t share a meaningful memory. While that picture of your child’s first tooth may be really cute, you probably don’t need ten variations of the same picture.
Step 3 – Categorize:
As best as you can, sort the photos by chronological year. You can begin by making piles of each year to rapidly sort and then organize them by month or event after. After you have gone through a year, label with a sticky note and put them in to an envelope or container to keep them separate for later.
Step Four – Store and Label:
There are many different systems and organizing tools that you can purchase or use for storing photographs. No matter what you choose, keep it uniform by using the same container. The Container Store has a tidy and logical photo storage system that I have used and love. It has 12 separate photo boxes that each hold about 100 photos that all fit in to one box. Amazon also has a similar option here and here.
You can also use cardboard photo boxes that you can find at your local craft or photo store. For long term storage, just be sure to look for an acid free container to protect your photos from yellowing and discoloring over time.
Be sure to label your newly organized system either by year or event. You can use a sticker on the box to keep it cohesive. If you prefer to write details on the back of photos, use a photo safe pen or pencil so that it doesn’t bleed through or destroy the photo over time.
Once you have sorted your photos, you can put them in photo albums to enjoy or keep them stored or maybe a little bit of each.
Your family photographs and memories don’t have to be contained in a disorganized jumble any more. With a little time and organization method, you can cross this task off your list once and for all.