Taking photos? Easy! Printing and than organizing your photos is a whole other task. My entire life, one of my favorite things to do is to look at old photographs. It tells a story of your life. Lets future generations have a glimpse into your life before them. It allows you to go back and reminisce times you may have forgotten.
Technology allows us to store thousands of photos onto our cellphones or computers. If you are anything like me I lose my phones more than I would like to admit. My iCloud is always out of storage and forget sitting down to download them onto a computer. Plus there is nothing like physically holding an old photograph. So many feelings when flipping through old photos but coming across a photo that a.) no one knows who the person is in the photo b.) where they were in the photo or c.) what year it was, is super annoying. Because of this my photo collection (including labeling) started in 4th grade.
Here Are My 5 Tips to Help You in Organizing Your Photos
Do you have big shoe boxes full of old photos at your parents house? Yep, me too! Go get them. Search all of your old storage boxes, drawers, closets, cabinets to find all of your old photos from long before smart phones. If you didn’t save all of your photos on a computer, hard drive or cloud go grab those old cellphones too.
If you have most of your photos already printed, great job! If you don’t, I’m sure you are imaging dollar signs or you feel overwhelmed by the task. It’s ok, promise! I would start by printing off 2 years at a time. If you have more patience for uploading, go for it! I always wait to print my pictures when Walgreens, Costco or somewhere similar has a sale on prints (which 9/10 times they do). You can even print your 4×4 photos now.
Now that you have steps 1 and 2 complete, it is time to start organizing your photos. Start by organizing them by year and then by month. If you printed off a phone or computer, the phone/computer will have the date you took the picture which makes it a bit easier. I like to organize my photos in white picture boxes instead of albums because it is easy to place them wherever in your house without looking like a huge eyesore. Boxes can hold so many more photos and you can find white picture boxes pretty much anywhere too.
Your hand will cramp for sure but it is worth it. You can either a.) write only on the index card that comes with the photo boxes or b.) write on the back of every picture. I do both! I wish that I could make myself only write on the index card because labeling every picture is extremely time consuming but I can’t. Sometimes pictures are put into different sections, in different boxes or somehow end up in the junk drawer (still a mystery) so I make sure each picture is labeled so it can be returned easily. I also know that when I have kids pictures will be taken (sorry mom!).
I used to label my pictures with a ballpoint pen, big mistake.You can see the indents from the pen through the picture. Then I used a permanent marker, not a good idea. Finally I did a some research and the best pen to use is a ‘photo safe archival pen’ that is acid free. Include: peoples name, date, location and occasion.
Congrats! You have all your photos collected, organized, printed and labeled. Now, maintain! I will usually print pictures off 3 times a year. When I want to print photos, I look in the latest photo box to see where I left off and I start from there. Pick them up, label them immediately and put them right into your photo box.
Organizing your photos can be time consuming but so rewarding. Having physical photos to go back and look at can bring back so many great memories. Not to mention, your kids and your kids kids will be able to see your life (and theirs) documented through photos.
How do you organize your pictures?