Tips for Organizing and Storing our Photos
If you’re anything like me, your photos are your most precious possession. For example, if my house was on fire, once I made sure that my family (including my dog) was safely evacuated, the next things I would grab would be my photos. However, they are scattered throughout my home in various boxes, frames, and hard drives, and it worries me that I don’t have a good system in place to keep them organized and backed up.
September is Save Your Photos Month, and I’ve been spending a few hours each week going through my boxes of photo albums and thousands of digital images so that I can get to a place where I have a system in place to get and keep them in order. The Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO) has been really helpful in assisting this effort through their “Save My Photos” pledge, and are sending me daily emails with step-by-step instructions on reining in the insanity that is my photo collection.
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There are some simple steps you can take to get organized, decrease photo clutter, and create a system for moving forward:
1. Block Out Time
Formally set aside a few hours each week to work on the project. It may take a long time and it’s important to commit and then give yourself time to work on it. This isn’t the kind of project that you’ll likely want to do all in one weekend.
2. Hunt and Gather
Designate a table for the project and and put a tablecloth on it to cover any mess underneath. Collect all loose photos, negatives, slides, and albums and put everything you find in boxes beneath the table.
3. Classify (ABCs)
Most photo organizers use a simple system to sort photos using the ABCs. The “A” photos belong in an album and these are the photos that you will want to digitize, back up, and display. The “B” photos can go into a photo safe box, and are the ones you aren’t ready to part with and want to have access to at some point in the future, and the C photos should be thrown away. The goal is to eliminate 70-80% of the printed photos. The “S” stands for story. Always think about the story that a photo tells as that is as or more important than the picture quality.
For more information and steps on photo storage and organization, check out the infographic below:
Please share your thoughts and comments
There is still time in September to get starting on your photo organizing project! Let us know how you will begin, and keep us posted on your progress in the comment box below!
Jodi Bart Holzband is a writer and editor at SpareFoot.com with a particular interest in topics around organization and moving. When not creating content for the world’s largest self- and full-service storage marketplace, she enjoys spending time with her husband and young daughter.