Photographs of your grandparents, parents, children, holidays, vacations, parties, and everyday life may be mixed up and stored in containers waiting for you to organize them…one day.
As a professional organizer, I get asked “What’s the quickest and easiest way to organize my pictures?”
It will definitely take time to organize years worth of photographs. We can not change that. However, I will share the easiest and quickest way to get your photographs organized and into albums.
Many people keep them together and packed up because they fear a disaster and want to make sure their pictures are easy to grab in an emergency situation. It seems that photographs are the number one item that women fear they can not replace. That’s true for older pictures.
Thanks to technology it is easier to keep up with your current pictures using less space. They simply get downloaded to your computer. You can also back up your pictures on CDs or pin drives for safety from a computer crash. There is still a need to organize them within the computer, but that’s another story.
It is so much fun to flip through albums and look at pictures. I recommend storing your photographs in albums and displaying them in a guest room or in an area where your family likes to hang out. Having your photographs easily accessible encourages friends and family to reminisce and learn more about you.
The steps on the best way to organize your actual snapshot sized printed pictures in the least amount of time is below.
How to Organize Your Photographs:
- Purchase plenty of albums of the same size and style. Usually 12 to 17 will get you off to a great start. For the quickest route, use the albums with pre-designated slide in slots. Hobby Lobby usually has a nice bulk collection of photo albums.
- Gather your pictures in one area.
- Sort pictures into chronological order first.
- Use heavy stock paper or cardboard labeled with the year to separate the pictures by years as you sort. Sort photos by season within each year.
- Toss duplicates (or near duplicates), blurry pictures, or pictures of people you do not even recognize.
- Spend an hour or two at a time to sort your pictures. Be patient. This will probably take two to three months, assuming you really chip away at it.
- After sorting, then start slipping the pictures into the albums.
You can also set aside some pictures that you would like to give to others. Start making piles for the people you would like to mail or deliver pictures to. They will probably appreciate the gesture!
Once you have loaded all your pictures into albums, then label the outside of the albums by year, using nice number stickers found in the scrapbooking section of the store.
Have fun pulling out your pictures and sharing the story of your life!
Stay tuned…I’ll be sharing great ideas for organizing your other picture collections: the larger family pictures, earlier generation family pictures, your children’s school/class/team pictures.
I’d love to hear your ideas and picture organizing stories. Please share them in the comment section below.