Are you swimming in a sea of photos? Do you have boxes and boxes of pictures spilling out of the corners? Have you ever been tempted to take a trip down nostalgia lane, but when you see the overwhelming mound of prints, you just figure “nah” instead? Well don’t worry, your pictures can be salvaged, and we’re going to teach you how to organize them.
We want to warn you before you read these steps--some of these solutions will cost a little money, and all of them will require some time and TLC. Organization
isn’t something that happens with a flick of a wand or a wish to Santa Claus. You’ll have to do some hard lifting, but with our guidance, you’ll be done before you even know you started. So let’s get started!
STEP 1: COME UP WITH A PLAN
Coming up with a plan means you need to think about how you want your photos to be organized. What’s most important to you? How do you think you’ll most likely want to look at your photos later? Some routes to consider: organize by year, event, person, hobby, or location. For example, you may want to keep all of your photos of Grandpa
together, or you might want to mix everyone up but keep all of the gymnastics photos together. What you find most important (chronology, theme, person, etc.) will dictate which route to take. If you want to take your organization to the next level, you can combine two methods. For example, you could first get photos of Grandpa together, then organize him by the year that the photo was taken. How deep you want to go is up to you, but having an overarching organizational method will make your photos much neater and cleaner.
STEP 2: BUY YOUR MATERIALS
This will probably be the least fun part of your organization project. You’ll need to get the materials that you need to get your photos organized how you want them. The best solution that’ll keep your pictures crisp and clean is to put them into a photo book. Here’s a pretty plain one from Amazon, but it holds up to 400 photos. Going with the album method will allow you to label each one and keep them stored on bookshelves for everyone to see. If you’re looking for a more utilitarian storage method, bins like this can keep all of your photos grouped together. You can use the dividers to keep your photos separated by whatever method you choose in step 1. You can also make color coded tabs to keep things extra flippable and archived. The last option, if you have a ton of time on your hands, is to get into scrapbooking
. This is the most time consuming and expensive option, but it will allow you to put a special touch onto every picture. Remember, you can always use multiple types of storage methods. You can keep the special photos in a scrapbook and put the rest in a binder. It’s completely up to you.
STEP 3: GET YOUR PHOTOS IN ORDER: ORGANIZE
The last part is pretty simple--start getting your photos organized! You’ll have a blast going through them and seeing how your family and friends have changed over the years. Just make sure you stay consistent in your organization method! If you decide to organize chronologically, stick with it! Getting off course will make your photos just as messy as when you started.
BONUS STEP 4: GET YOUR PHOTOS DIGITIZED
Getting your photos into albums, boxes, and scrapbooks are a great thing to do. The problem is that they’ll always just sit in their boxes and/or pages. By digitizing your photo library
, you’ll be able to stave off the problems that physical pictures have like tearing, yellowing, and fading. Plus they’ll be saved on a hard drive, thumb drive, or memory chip forever. If they’re on your computer, you’ll also be able to share them on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s hard to do that when they’re all just sitting in a closet somewhere!