Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How I Organize My Photos

About seven years ago, I tackled a huge, procrastinated project in my house.  I knew that most of the areas of my life, my home, were organized...except for photos.  Many were thrown into boxes, still in the sleeves from the developer, and others were scattered in ugly photo albums or stuck in envelopes.  I had a goal: to get every single photo I owned into matching photo albums.

It was a huge project, but the motivation was this:
It would only get worse!

So I did this:
1. I found relatively cheap, sturdy, classic photo albums online and ordered a bunch.  I use these. I wanted ones that I would always be able to purchase...you could purchase these 40 years ago, and so I figured I could purchase them 40 years from now.

2. I painstakingly went through every single photo, and sorted them in chronological order.  I labeled boxes by the year and threw them in there first, and then went through the boxes and ordered them by month.  It took me about a week and I worked on them every chance I got.  I did one box for Jeff's childhood pics, one for mine, and one for our dating years, engagement, and wedding.  From then on, it's just all chronological. I don't write things on the photos, or in the albums-to me, it's enough that I have them IN albums.

3. Once I had those all in order and inserted in the books I know I needed to keep them up often. Now I try to go through my downloaded photos once every 3 months and order prints.  I don't have time to make sure each photo is print perfect...sometimes I edit, most of the time I don't.  I send them to the store I grocery stop at...that way, it's not inconvenient to pick them up.  I make myself put those prints in the albums as soon as I can.

(And a big P.S.  My mom has a huge box of photos, all jumbled up, from our childhood.  No neat albums.  I love getting the box out and looking through them photo by photo.  You never know what you'll get.  So if your approach is "throw it in a box", then by all means, keep throwing!)

Album Information:  Pioneer Photo Album BDP-35.  I google that, then find the cheapest price on line.  You can sometimes find these at Michaels, but they don't keep a large stock of them, and a unreliable color choice.  (But they are probably cheap with a coupon?)