As a professional organizer, an area I often see neglected is the organization of personal photos. No doubt there are some of you reading this whose photos are meticulously organized and your scrapbooks are up-to-date through last weekend. But most folks struggle with organizing photos – from downloading digital images from the camera, remembering to print them, and storing the prints.
There’s no one solution that works for everyone, so I’m going to touch on a few different options for organizing and storing photos, sharing some of my favorite products and resources. Hopefully this will be just the catalyst you need to finally make a plan to do something about your photographs. If photo organizing is one of your goals, make sure it has a specific time frame attached to it or it’s just another item on your “someday” list. And summer is a great time to involve your kids, friends, or your professional organizer to make an overwhelming job manageable and fun!
Think Inside the Box
Storing photographs, negatives and photo CDs doesn’t have to mean large photo albums or the bottom of a drawer. Fun and functional storage boxes can be a decorative addition to any room. Some of my favorites include:
- Black & White Photo Storage Boxes from JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores
- CD Storage Boxes let you organize photo CDs and photos in a small space
- 12-Case Photo Storage Carrier includes twelve inner cases that can be easily labeled by category or event
- Large Photo Storage Box holds photos up to size 8 x 10 and can also be used to store photo albums
Online photo sites let you store and share digital photos, as well as order prints and create greeting cards, photo books, gifts and more. Accounts are typically free – you pay just for photos and other items purchased, often as significant savings. A few reliable, easy-to-use sites include:
If you’re overwhelmed by the process of getting photos into scrapbooks, decorating pages and journaling to accompany the photos, consider digital scrapbooks. Pixorium, an Atlanta-based company, will scan your photos, slides, film negatives and VHS tapes, creating digital copies of important family memories on discs for your computer or TV. They can also make additional copies to give to family members to share the memories and for safekeeping. If you prefer, they can put your favorite photos on a flash drive (or multiple flash drives by category such as heirloom photos, vacations, holidays, etc.) so you can view them on a digital photo frame that matches your decor. Shutterfly offers digital scrapbooks in a variety of sizes and prices, so you can create a book to capture an entire year’s worth of photos, or a special event such as your family’s first Disney vacation or your son’s graduation.
Preserving Memories Beautifully
No one can deny that lovingly created paper scrapbooks are a wonderful way to preserve your memories and share them with family and friends. If you’re just getting started, the variety of books, paper and tools can seem overwhelming. Consider starting with advice and recommendations from experienced consultants (in person or online) through Creative Memories. Shopping is available online or through Creative Memories home parties, where you have the opportunity to test products before buying.
If you’re an avid scrapbooker, you’ve probably dedicated space in your home to the task, but keeping your photos and supplies organized can be a big job. Check out these organizing and storage solutions to create the ultimate scrapbooking space – wow!
Guest author Terri Stephens is the founder and Chief Professional Organizer of Real Order Professional Organizing, LLC. Since 2003, she’s helped busy homeowners with their clutter and organizing needs in metro Atlanta and surrounding areas. Terri is also a Senior Move Manager and helps older adults and their families with later-life moves.