Print Photo Organizing Tips

Advice and Wisdom to Help You Get Organized

Get Started!
You've been meaning to get your photos organized for a long time, haven't you? I'm pretty sure you enjoy looking at your photos, but you don't look at them very often, do you? These photo organizing tips will help you get organized.

I know that when photos are well-organized, they are enjoyed more often.

Get moving on this project! Don't wait for an evacuation order to realize that your photos are what you would take with you if a hurricane, flood, tornado or volcano disaster was imminent!

Then What?
Once your photos are organized, please protect them! Consider having your photos scanned to create a digital version. Digital photos can and should be stored in multiple places (on a computer, an external hard drive and in 'the cloud' for example) so that you'll always have a copy to enjoy and share.

I've heard all the stories about photos lost or destroyed due to fire, water damage and everything else imaginable. Please get at least some of your photos scanned. There are many businesses that offer photo scanning, but I hope you'll take time to learn about the Scanning Plus Organizing service I offer.

If you do choose to have me scan your photos and organize the resulting digital files, there are other steps that will need to be added to the process. Those additional steps will enable me to organize the scanned images.

If you intend to do a Scanning Plus Organizing project with me, please contact me before organizing your photos.

Organizing Individual Printed Photos

IMPORTANT: Planning on Scanning Your Printed Photos?
If you plan to scan your printed photos, or if you think you might work with Megabyte Memories or any other photo organizer:

Please organize your photos by date.
Do not organize by person, location, theme, activity or any other method.

Consultations are free, so please contact me. I want you to do your sorting and organizing in a way that will save time later on in the process.
Photo Handling
Handle your albums and photos carefully. Wash your hands well and often. Do not put lotion on your hands. Work on a clean, flat surface.

I often wear white cotton gloves when handling my clients' photos.
Locate All your Photos
Include photos you choose to remove from albums.
Include photos in frames.
Look all over and locate as many photos as you can.
Make Photo Organizing a Fun Event!
Get family together and enjoy the process!

Make a party of it! Stories will be told. You'll have a great time. The more people involved, the more photo dates you'll know, and the more people and events you'll be able to identify.
What to Do with Notes Written on the Back of Photos
If photos include notes written on the back that you want to preserve, double-sided scanning can be done.
Sorting Your Photos
Sorting deserves a full section!

See 'The 'ABC' Photo Sorting Method' Below.

I can help you or guide you through this process, or you can tackle the task on your own!

What to Do With Your Photo Albums

Historic Family Photo Albums
These treasures tell the stories of you family's past. Gather more information about the photos and the people and places they depict before that knowledge is lost.

Store them carefully in a dry location.

Album pages (even very large pages) can be scanned to preserve a digital version, complete with notes written on the pages.

Individual photos on a page can be saved as separate digital image files. separate individual images from the page. Consider this option for your favourite or most important photos.
Other Photo Albums
Many photo albums do not protect photos well. Often the surface of the page and a plastic page cover can create a 'chemical sandwich' that will damage photos over time. Only you can decide whether or not you want to keep a photo album. If photos can be removed, you can choose which ones you want to keep.

This is the reality: Our kids do not want bulky photo albums. But if you still want to keep your albums after scanning, you can.

Consider removing any photos that can be easily removed. Include these photos in the organizing process with the rest of your loose photos.

Photos will often not 'stick' back into in the old photo album they were removed from. Consider getting a new, high-quality album for your favourite photos.

If you can't remove photos from albums, the pages (even very large pages) can be scanned, and individual photos can be saved as separate digital image files.

Considering purchasing a high-quality, acid free album for photo storage.

The 'ABC' Photo Sorting Method

Get Prepared!
You'll need:
  • A large, clean work space. As this may take more than one session, try to do this where you won't have to move everything after each session.
  • Small boxes, envelopes, zip-loc bags or anything else you can find in which to place your photos during the organizing process. A trip to the Dollar Store might be a good idea.
  • Patience.
  • Sticky-notes, labels, markers. Don't write on the back or front of photos unless you use a photo-safe pencil.
  • A garbage bag or garbage can.
  • More patience.
The 'A' Photos
'A' Photos are your top shots!

Consider having your 'A' photos scanned and organized. Having a digital copy is important in case of damage to the prints. Store them in a dry location. Place them in a high-quality, acid-free album or box.

'A' Photos are your best, favourite, or historically significant photos.
'A' Photos show a person at their best.
'A' Photos tell a story.
'A' Photos evoke emotion.
'A' Photos depict an important or memorable event.
'A' Photos include photos you may decide are important for someone else, even if not for you.
The 'B' Photos
'B' Photos aren't as important as the A's, but you still can't part with them - at least not yet.

Consider having your 'B' photos scanned. Having a digital copy is important in case of damage to the prints.
'B' Photos may add to the story of an A photo.
'B' Photos include photos you want to give to someone else.
The 'C' Photos
'C' is for Can - Garbage Can. 'Nuff said.
'C' Photos are duplicates.
'C' Photos are the 'rejects' when you take several pictures of the same thing, within a short period of time.
'C' Photos are out-of-focus.
'C' Photos hold no emotional value for you.
Why are you letting these 'C' Photos take up space?
The 'D' Photos (you can't Decide)
If you're really struggling to decide whether a photo is a 'B' or a 'C', put it aside in the 'D' pile and go back to it later.

If you're struggling to decide whether a photo is a 'A' or a 'B', it's almost certainly a 'B'.

More Photo Organizing Tips Coming Soon!