Easy Organizing: Photos
To keep precious memories on instant recall, first collect all the snaps that have been tossed into drawers or piled up in stacks. Then do a serious sorting-out job, ditching all but the best, and store the rest in archival-quality boxes and albums.
Don’t pick a photo album for its cover. What’s essential: acid-free paper, which keeps images from deteriorating. Storage bins should also be acid free — so no shoeboxes.
Lose blurry blunders, red-eyed moments, and armies of doubles — that will save you hours of riffling through bursting bins. If you have several copies of a fantastic photo, hold on to one and send the rest to friends.
Keep a separate box for photo-storing supplies: blank discs (for backing up digital pics), labels, acid-free envelopes. Having good tools handy means you’re more likely to use them.
Keep negatives. Don’t let the digital revolution fool you. These are still never to be trashed, lest you lose prints or want to make new copies later. Carefully clip negatives and separate them by subject (starting out on the same roll doesn’t mean they must stay together), and stash them in envelopes with their print counterparts.
End digi-dumping. Just because you can’t see computer clutter doesn’t mean it’s not there. Take time to label digital files as you upload them and back them up on clearly labeled CDs or DVDs. If you don’t shoot digitally, buy a disc of your prints when you get photos developed. It’s simpler than storing doubles but also safer (even if you lose hard copies and your hard drive, the pics will survive).
Box by year. Chronological order is the easiest way to organize, so sort shots and discs into boxes by year and, within that, by season; then label. Avoid additional shuffling by marking envelopes with colored dot stickers for specific categories (school events are blue, holidays are green, etc.).
If you only have time to do one thing, here’s our advice: Store digital pics at an online photo site. For a small fee — or for free — you get low-cost prints plus space for online albums.
Share this article