Photo Tips

Simplify your Photos – Organizing Printed Photos

Photography is one of my biggest passions. It helps me to remember all of the really great moments and people in my life. It’s also one of my life goals to encourage others to enjoy photos–it takes time to print and organize, but it’s so worth it!

Growing up in a family that also values photography, it’s needless to say that by now, there are many many photos documenting every life event I’ve ever had. So, I’ve set out to organize. This is a big project, so I’m trying to keep this as simple as I can for now.

My first goal was to get my sister’s first year of life (1985-1986) digitized before she had her first baby! (I did it! Here’s how I started my process)

First, I emptied a room in my mom’s house. For this project, it really was a WHOLE room!

Then, I brought in albums, boxes of photos, and everything I could find of our ‘paper’ memories.

I purchased Photo Storage Boxes on sale at Michael’s. I prefer sticking with black or white and printing the names before sliding in to the nameplate area. Each of these holds about 1,000 photos, but I typically purchase based on how many categories I have. I used the included organizer sheets and also used some large notecards to separate by year.

For example, I started with 2 boxes for each kid in my family as my main boxes.

Darice Photo Storage Box, Plain White from Amazon.comScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 7.28.54 PM


20140410-213934.jpgOnce I had a box that contained about a decade of good photos of one of my siblings, I spent 2-3 hours at a time  sorting photos by year using a wine holder!

I started with my sister’s photos. You can see there were small albums as well as just loose photos in each square which represented 1985-1999 because of the size of my organizer.






Tips to De-clutter your photos as you go:IMG_1494

  • Remove duplicates
    • I had another LARGE box of photos that I did not sort, but just were my duplicates, blurry, or of people I did not know
  • Pick the best out of a series
    • When there were a LOT of photos from one event, a lot of the photos also didn’t make it in to the boxes, which were the photos I planned to digitize and back up.
  • Focus on the important people – put other family (& Friends) photos in a separate pile to review later
  • Saving artwork, large cards, and news clippings in a separate large box

End Result for My Photos:

  • 2 boxes of really great photos, organized by year, for each of my siblings
  • 1 immediate family box
  • 1 extended cousins box
  • 1 large box of artwork and other papers that were mixed in
  • 1 large box of duplicates
  • An array of albums around the perimeter of the room, sorted by year! We have so many photos!

Next, I will post about my process for scanning, saving digitally, and backing up!


My sisters and I sporting some lovely, probably handmade, sweatshirts for Valentine’s Day. This photo was taken in the studio in the back room of my parent’s camera store, The Camera Center

A portrait of my late grandpa and me, one of the few photos of just us!



My aunt Linda and me at her beautiful wedding — for the reception she had Christmas lights under her gown — what a fairy tale wedding!


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