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Photo Solutions: Organizing Printed Photos

Many of us have boxes of printed photographs somewhere.  Or maybe they are in old, falling-apart albums.  Either way, something needs to be done if these photos are going to be around for future generations to see!
I think almost everyone agrees that our photos are important.  So, find your stash of printed pictures, and let’s get to work!

Tip #1:  Decide on a system.  Photographs can be organized chronologically, but there are many other ways to do it. 
You could group all the holiday photos, all the vacation photos, etc.  My dad’s family takes posed pictures of each family every year at Christmas – putting those photos together is a fun way to see how the kids and families have grown and changed year to year.  Here’s Adam on Christmas Eve 2008, 2009, and 2010.
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Photos can also be organized by family members.  This works especially well for children.  If there is more than one child in the picture, see who “looks best.”  They are the ones that will appreciate the photo the most.  When I was going away to college, I went through my parents’ printed photos and “stole” a lot of the pictures of me growing up.  There were a couple pictures of my sister and I where I looked like a total goober.  I left those for her. :)  (That’s me, in the huge glasses, circa 1995 – 5th grade.  Becky can keep this one.  That’s her in the middle.)

Tip #2:  Start with the MOST RECENT photos.  I know, that seems a little backwards, but it works much better.  If you start with the oldest photos, you may NEVER get caught up.  The task seems too large and overwhelming that way.  But if you start with the “freshest” photos, it doesn’t seem quite so impossible!
I’ll start with this one…
not this one.
Tip #3:  Label the pictures with a PHOTO SAFE pen or pencil.  Sure, it might be obvious to you who the baby is, but in 20 years, no one will remember.  And those family reunion pics?  Your kids won’t know who all those people are, either.  Trust me, I know.
Don’t have a photo safe pen/pencil?  Want to make sure you have the highest quality?  Try this one.  It’s $2.50. You can order it online here, but comment or email me and if you pay through paypal, I’ll mail it to you, saving you a TON on shipping.

Tip #4:  THROW AWAY the bad pictures!  Yes, I’m serious!  You can do it!!!  You don’t need to keep them all!  If they are super blurry or otherwise “bad” just get rid of them!  Do it!  (I bet my mom is dying right now reading this.  She thinks I purge too much.)
Really – what do I need these two pictures for?
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Tip #5:  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!  Choose a quality, acid free album or storage box for your photos!  You don’t want to go through all this work just to have your photos rot anyway!
I ADORE the PowerSort Box.  Adore it!  And guess what?!?  It’s 40% off this month!  For $17.10 (instead of $28.50!) you will get a photo safe storage box that holds up to 1200 5x7 pictures!  There is a storage sleeve inside the lid that will hold larger memorabilia or panoramic photos.  There are 6 divided compartment boxes, and reusable dividers

Prefer an album?
These are my favorite – Creative Memories 11x14 Expandable Photo Albums.
You can fill them with these 5 pocket pages (Don’t you love the way they have room for vertical and horizontal pictures?)
or the big ol’ memorabilia pages.

And you can get these adorable photo album kits to jazz things up a bit!  This one (Discover/Delight) is my favorite.  Each paper is reversible so these would be great for the boys or girls in your life!  And only $7.80!

Any questions?  Other tips or suggestions?

Would you like to comment?

  1. Great post. You are going to get me back to my scrapbooking with one or two more posts.

  2. HELP! I cannot find the power sort boxes anywhere, not on the ordering page of CMC or my website??? All I can find are the dividers, and I have someone who would like to order two. Any ideas would be most welcomed.