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Printed Photos: Chaos to Control

Are your print photos in boxes, drawers, and closets all over the house? How would it feel to tame that photo clutter and bring your photos back into your life, streamlined, organized, digitized on your computer, and ready to share? How do you get from Chaos to Control? If you decide to organize your print photos yourself, here are some "must-haves" for success!

A Plan So important before starting! What end result do you want? Organize chronologically? By theme or story? By child? Do you want to keep only the best pictures, or just get rid of duplicates? I ask a lot of questions and create a timeline of the family and events, so I can date pictures based on ages of children and events in client’s life. Time You probably have thousands of photos, this could take a while, especially if they are a big jumbled mess! A Big Table

You’ll want to spread out so you can see what you’re working with. Not your kitchen table, remember this could take awhile.

A Good Memory

Sorting takes place over many sessions. I have to remember if I saw Jenny in that dance recital costume before and about what year it was. Or I might remember the kids were all wearing matching t-shirts on the Disney vacation, and I just found a picture wearing the same shirts, probably from the same vacation. Detective Skills

You'll need these even if sorting your own photos

  • Is that baby picture of Johnny or his brother? I see an Easter basket in the background so it must be April. Johnny was born in February, his brother was born in July, so the baby must be Johnny. Now I know what Johnny looks like as a baby for other pictures.

  • Six candles on the birthday cake? Johnny was born in 1980, so it must be 1986. Now I know what Johnny looks like at 6 years old for other pictures.

  • Square snapshots with rounded corners, someone is wearing bell bottom jeans and a shirt with a big pointy collar … definitely the 70s

Geeky Tools A lighted magnifying glass helps decipher faded dates printed on the back of photos, Acid Free Sorting Boxes and Envelopes, Archival Photo Sleeves, Dental Floss for removing stubborn photos from albums, photo removal glue, white gloves to handle delicate photos, sticky notes in every size and color, photo safe pencils, dividers, Google help me figure our places and dates. For long term photo safe storage, I love the archival Legacy Boxes pictured above, and label the dividers using Avery #8195.

Patience, a sense of humor and good music Self explanatory!

I find sorting bins of photos like solving a jigsaw puzzle. It’s challenging, yet therapeutic. If you agree, happy sorting! Carve out the time and finally cross “Organize My Photos” off your list. Or if you want the results without the work, reach out to Organized Photos Forever.


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