Raise your hand if you have all of your photos (both printed and digital) organized! Anyone?
Photos became super important to me once I had children. Every photo I took was a moment in time that they could look back on when they were teenagers or mothers themselves. I had tremendous guilt that they would not remember every little detail of their childhood and that I could make up for that with photos. To complicate this fun project chore even more, digital wasn’t good enough for me…I needed actual photos.
I imagined my kids flipping through photo albums just as I had as a kid and adult. The thought of them scrolling through pictures on a computer did not leave me with that warm fuzzy feeling.
Printed photos are fun, but with digital technology on the rise, they aren’t as common as they once were. Having digital photos makes it really easy to share memories with family and friends; however those photos can quickly become unorganized if not maintained with some type of order.
Photo Management Tips
This is the system I have been using for the past 5 years for my digital photos:
- I save all of my digital photos on my computer.
- I categorize them by year and month.
- I upload the photos that I want printed to snapfish.com. I pay on average .9 cents per 4×6 photo. I usually always have a promotional code for free shipping or a discounted rate per photo. Up to one week later I receive my photos in the mail.
- I write on the back of every single printed photo the year and month and if it wouldn’t be totally obvious to my kids, I will write who is in the photo.
- I put them into photo albums in chronological order and up on the bookshelf they go.
- Finally, I backup all my digital photos to an external hard device. You could also do this on a CD or use an online photo storage site (such as snapfish.com, shutterfly.com, kodakgallery.com, photobucket.com, flickr.com, etc.)
This photo management system has worked for me because I need both digital and printed photos. It is not super time consuming but you will have to keep up with uploading/ordering. I try to do this once every couple of months. I must admit the albums get pulled off those bookshelves by the kids more than I thought they would.
What about actual photographs?
I recently came across a really cool photo sharing website 1000memories.com. This site allows you to digitize, upload and organize your photos by adding dates, tags and captions. You can add stories, audio, video and memorable quotes. 1000memories.com will arrange it all in a beautiful layout for each family member, so you can string together your family history and everyone can upload their own personal collections. I must say, this is a project I will be adding to my never ending “to-do” list. There is even a free app for your iPhone (called Shoebox) so you can scan old printed photos and documents right from your phone into 1000memories.com! I have several clients that struggle with what to do with all the artwork their kids bring home every day…this would be a great solution (scan the picture and upload) and an easy way to share with everyone! Could they make this any easier?!
A great Saratoga County resource is Gail Stein who owns My Photo Keeper. Gail can help you create amazing products and photo books with your digital pictures.
They’re Printed- now what?
I have worked with so many clients that have bins and bins of printed photos…not those cute little photo boxes, I am talking about the big 7 gallon plastic storage bins! Most clients tell me they just don’t know where to start, so hopefully I can help with that today!
For those of you with “the bins” of printed photos, here are some tips for getting started:
- Dedicate time to work on this project and be realistic with how long this may take you. Pick a rainy day, or set aside an hour or two every week or month to work on this.
- Enlist the help of family members who would appreciate sorting through all the photos.
- Purge!!! You do not need to keep every photo…throw away blurry photos, duplicates, torn, or just bad photos.
- Sort the keepers (by month and year if possible). If you have no way of being exact, just estimate the best you can by year.
- Write on the back of each photo the month/year and the names of the people in the photo to make it easier for your children and other family members to identify who is in each photo.
- Decide what storage system works best for your family. You could use albums, scrapbook the photos, photo boxes, or scan and upload to an online photo sharing system like 1000memories.com, etc.
So you may ask when the best time to get started is…and my answer to you is now! Photos are one of the only ways to preserve a memory so get those photos out of your bins and shoeboxes or online folders and into the hands of your family and friends!
My name is Susanna and I am Miss-Organized! I operate a professional organizing service in Saratoga County.
Visit www.missorganizedny.com to see what we are all about. You can also find me on facebook where I regularly post tips and tricks and inspiring ideas to get you organized! If you are interested in setting up a free organizing consultation call 518-221-4297 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.