I had a request from one of my readers to talk about photo organizing so I am going to help you all get focused on this task.
I know many of us have lots and lots and lots of pictures. Some are in albums, some are in shoe boxes and some are scattered all over the place in the home. Now with the era of digital cameras and phones, pictures are simply scattered all over your computer, phone and online photo storage sites. How in the world can you get all this organized?
First off, you need to focus on one collection at a time; printed or digital. Once you make your decision, then you need to set up a system to help you sort. If you are sorting printed pictures you will need some supplies such as a few plastic bins or cardboard boxes for temporary storage, some index cards and a pen for labeling the cards.
The second decision will be whether to sort by year or categories such as holiday, vacation, birthdays, graduations, etc. As with all organizing, there is no one right way to sort! As you begin the actual sorting process, you may come up with even more categories so just add as you go.
Once you have decided on the type of media you are sorting, categories for sorting, and have collected the necessary tools, you will need to collect all the photos into one place.
Whether you are sorting by year or theme with printed pictures, create labels with your cards and pen and spread them out on a table. If working on digital pictures, create your labels with individual folders.
Pick up your pile of photos and begin to sort photos into the categories for which you have created labels. BUT, while sorting, you need to be as honest with yourself about the quality of images you intend to keep. Only keep the best ones that are in focus and where everyone has their eyes open! Delete or trash the duplicates as well. If you come across a picture that is not of the best quality but may be the only one to represent a very special moment in life, feel free to keep it even if it doesn’t pass the blurry, open eyes test.
Continue the sorting process until you have managed to get through them all, which could be days or weeks depending on the number of pictures and your devoted time to the project. Utilize the bins or boxes to keep sorted photos in their proper categories if you have to suddenly clear the table you have taken over with this project. Once images are sorted, I might suggest that you go through each category one more time, very quickly, to see if there are any photos that shouldn’t have made the cut the first time. How many camping pictures do you need?
Now you can either digitize this collection, if sorting actual printed photographs, and create photo albums online, or purchase archival quality photo storage boxes or albums and store them as is. There are many companies who can digitize your pictures so you have them safe and sound from deterioration which happens to photographs over time.
If you have been sorting your digital photos, then you can now create printed photo albums online as well. Take a look at the websites Mixbook and Shutterfly. These are two easy to use online sites where you can completely customize photo books and have them printed into coffee table quality books. Both sites offer many options for sizes, paper, formatting, and covers.
Do you have a favorite method of storing your photos that you would like to share with us? I love hearing of new methods for storing so please share!
Maria White is a professional organizer with ENUFF WITH THE STUFF in the Ashburn, Virginia area. To contact Maria you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org