Thursday, July 26, 2012

Organizing photographs.

Since I first got a digital camera in 2003 I take TONS of photos. And by tons I mean, sometimes hundreds per day. But then there are months when I take maybe ten photos. In any case, it's left me with all these photos that I have to have.

At first, when I was introduced to scrapbooking in 2008, I thought I could scrapbook every photo. It didn't take long for me to realize that just is not possible. By the time I realized it I had already printed hundreds and hundreds of photos of my kids. Plus there are the photos that sit on my hard drive waiting to be printed. Then add in the fact that I sometimes print 2-3 copies of each photo {for instance if I have a photo and all three of my kids are in that photo, I will print three copies, one for each child}.

That's a lot of photos.

I was talking to my cousin the other day wondering how on earth am I going to print and organize photos? ALL the photos? We came up with a few ideas.

The one I chose is based off of all the times I sat on my mother's living room floor going through her puke-green plastic box full of photos. A box I'm pretty sure was meant for recipe cards. I took that memory and how much I loved to do it and went from there.

My kids now each have their own photo box, which I purchased for $3.99 each at Hobby Lobby. In each box are their photos, in chronological order, and then a separator, and then family photos {aunts, uncles, cousins, etc}.

I even have a box for myself. In it are my out-of-order photos from birth and childhood, then a section for photos of my parents, and another section for family photos, then one more section for photos of friends {no, my parents did not take nearly as many photos back then as I take now}.
I hope that someday my kids will come and visit me and sit on the floor flipping through their childhood photos, laughing, giggling, picking on each other. And then I hope that when they are old enough and responsible enough to take care of those photos, they can take their boxes to their own place and maybe start keeping boxes for their own kids.

Here are some photo organizing ideas for those of us who have too many photos to put in albums or too many photos to scrapbook:

    • A box just for holiday photos, with a different section for each year, or a different section for each holiday

    • One box for each child, don't forget a box for your photos and your husband's photos

    • One box for each year, all photos from the year kept in the box in chronological order

    • A box for all those family photos we get in Christmas cards every year, and school photos

    • Keep a box of general photos you take of nature and the rest of the world around you

    • Vacations photos, a new section for each vacation

Those are just a few ideas. What else can we think of!? Use the comments to add to the list if you can think of anything.

How do you organize photos on your computer? Here's one way {the way I do it}:

Within each yearly folder, create a folder for each month, labeling them as below:
How do you organize photos on your computer while they're waiting to be printed?


Laura@live-love-scrap said...

I am so impressed that you sat and organized your photos!I know what a big chore that is. It is such a good feeling! I organized mine after reading Stacy Julian's Photo Freedom book.

Simple Sewer said...

I don't think I've ever heard of that book, of course now I've got to look it up!!

It was definitely a chore but well worth it!

Jan said...

Congratulations on organizing your photos, and thanks for the helpful hints. I purchased similar boxes a few years ago, but filling and organizing them is still on the "to do" list. Hopefully someday soon!

Simple Sewer said...

Oh no, lol. A few years!? Yikes.

It is time consuming, it did take a few hours but I feel so much better now that I'm done. It's crazy but it feels like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. One less thing to worry about, you know?

Good luck with your organizing when you get to it :)

Katy said...

Jan, if you don't have time to organize your photos yourself, you might consider hiring a personal photo organizer. They are awesome at what they do and you can find one in your area through their professional association at

Lydia said...

I do the same with my photos but with one difference. I have them divided into sections with card cut to stand a little above the level of the photos.
I write on them to identify things of particular interest ie weddings, countries, flowers etc. It's all clean and tidy and easy to get to the ones I am looking for. Cheers.

Simple Sewer said...

The boxes I bought came with dividers. Mine just say "family", "my parents", "friends".