For many people, the road to getting organized is paved with good intentions. One such project is tackling the mountain of memorabilia you've accumulated over the years. If you're like a lot of our clients, you probably still have a lot of hard copy photos in shoeboxes or in piles around the house. Aren't your precious memories deserving of better accommodations? If you don't know where to begin, here's a three-fold strategy for your photo-organizing project.
First, go through each stack of pictures and edit the contents, removing all unflattering, eyes-closed, too dark, or out-of-focus shots. If there are several pictures of the same thing from slightly different angles, pick the best one and eliminate the rest or pass them on to others who may appear in them as well. This should help narrow things down right away!
Next, make sure the back of each photo is labeled with the date (as close as possible if you don't remember exactly), the event and the people in the picture. We don't always remember things clearly ten years later and it's nice to have that extra bit of information. The labeling stage is also good time to arrange photos into categories. I like to do mine chronologically, but I've helped clients organize their pictures by events (holidays, birthdays, school, sports, etc.) or by family member as well.
I've already decided that I'd like to keep my collection in simple, acid-free, shoebox-sized storage boxes, so at this point, I can determine how many I'll need. I may decide to create individual photo albums later on, but for now, having them in order and safely stored is the perfect solution for my current lifestyle.
If getting your own photo collection in order is on your project list, spend a little time on a plan of attack before jumping in. Think about how you'd like to organize and keep your photos. Would you like regular access to them, or will they be stored away? How big or small is your collection? What type of storage space is available? A little bit of preparation goes a long way. And once you're able to move your project to the top of your list, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that all of your precious memories are getting the respect they deserve.