One - Organize your photos in chronological order first
When you’re organizing photos, there can be a temptation to sort by people or event rather than keeping things in chronological order. The benefit to keeping photos in chronological order, until you’re ready to scrap them, is twofold.
First if you sort by “people” i.e., these are all photos of my son, all photos of my daughter, etc – you’ll have to resort through each pile when you’re working on a holiday or event where you want to include photos of them – like Christmas.
There’s also a good chance you’ll forget those pictures even exist when you’re working on Christmas pictures because they weren’t kept with all the Christmas photos.
Second, when you’re done scrapping that theme or event, the photos are still in chronological order. If anyone else needs/wants photos from a particular time period it will be easier to find/share them.
When my kids were little, I would occasionally take a box of leftover photos to my mom’s or to my mother-in-law’s house and let them go through what was in the box, choosing the photos they wanted to keep. When my kids got to school age and needed photos for school projects, it was easy to locate what they needed as well.
Two - Sort for scrapping projects second
Keep your photos in chronological order until you’re ready to plan a scrapping project and/or ready to scrap them. When you’re ready to plan a scrapbooking project sort your photos into small groups, one group for each of the layouts you’re planning to do. For more on this see my next blog post called – How to organize photos for scrapbooking in 3 easy steps.
Three - Use tabs and notes to label your photos and remember the stories
I like to use “sticky” notes to separate events/holidays/themes in my chronological photo storage boxes. The plastic sticky notes, like our Shut Your Flap Tabs, work better than the paper type because once the paper type gets folded over, you can no longer read the tab.
I’ll also include any notes I have about the theme or event, as well as the location of any mementos, right in the photo storage box with the photos.
Four - Recruit your family to help!
Sorting photos in chronological order is a complete objective task. If you’ve got boxes of photos to sort through, get a couple of family members involved. One of the benefits to this, as you’re sorting pictures at the dining room table, is that your family members will share their memories of the event – you’ll be surprised at how different they are from your memories. Make sure you’ve got some note paper handy so you can “journal” their memories and add them into the photo box for reference later.
Five - Create a family timeline and keep it with your photos
When you’re sorting photos it can be difficult to remember what year or month something happened. To aid your memory, start a family timeline.
A family timeline can be something you put on the wall of your craftroom and use as part of the room décor, it can be a notebook, index cards, a Word Doc, or even a spreadsheet. As you sort through photos you can fill in dates and events and then reference back to them when you find stray photos or mementos later.
Lastly, if you keep a calendar each year, whether it’s a small “purse” sized calendar or a regular wall calendar, store it with your photos at the end of the year. It will provide a great reference for details later.
Thanks for stopping by today to learn a little about organizing your photos. Please feel free to leave a question, comment of idea in the comment box below.