Is it just my imagination, or do we take about a zillion more photos than our parents used to take? I guess it’s because we carry a camera around in our pocket every day, plus we so much more visual than we used to be. But managing all those thousands of photos can be crazy-making.
Be honest now, how many wonderful photos do you have buried in your computer or phone? Or even worse, sitting around in dusty shoeboxes? It’s a shame because your wonderful memories are literally locked up.
A while back when my husband and sons were off camping, I took advantage of a rare weekend alone to tackle a big project I’d been putting off for a looong time – organizing my shoeboxes full of photos!
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Normally, I would advise someone to tackle a project like this in stages, but I know myself and I also know that with a tedious job like this, my best bet is to do it in one large chunk because otherwise I can let a project like this drag out for weeks, or months, or years…
In my house, photos and other personal mementos are probably my largest source of clutter. I’m pretty sentimental and we have lost pretty much all of our older relatives so these items are the only things I have to remember them by. That makes them especially precious to me, so I am willing to take the time to organize them properly.
It is a LOT of stuff and it takes up a fair amount of space in my house. However, since it is so important to me, I am willing to forgo other types of clutter to make room for it.
I keep it all in a large cedar chest and three large Rubbermaid tubs that fit neatly into the closets in several rooms. So, even though it is technically clutter, it is fairly neat and organized clutter. It is also well-protected from dust, water damage, and bugs.
So, it’s a big, ugly job, but I’m definitely off to a good start. First I got all of our older pictures out of those old-style magnetic albums that were ruining them. That was a heck of a job right there, I’ll tell you!
HINT: Dental floss is very helpful for gently peeling pictures off those old magnetic pages.
My best tip is to send them all off for professional scanning. There are lots of companies that do this and it’s more affordable than you think. I’ve used ScanDigital.com and ScanMyPhotos.com and was happy with both of them. You never know when a fire or a flood might damage all those irreplaceable paper photos. I’m also a digital scrapbooker, so I love having access to all these older pictures in digital form.
Then I use a service like Mixbook or Blurb to create gorgeous photo books or canvas prints for my walls.
Click Next to see my perfect 4-step Recipe for Organizing Photos
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