Organizing Your Photos

There are a number of methods for organizing photos. No matter how you decide to setup your system of storing photos, the important part is that you can find the image you want when you want it. This is a guide to organizing your photos.

November 20, 2016 Flag
2 found this helpful

If you're like me, you have loose photos all around your house; maybe in your wallet, between the pages of books, and most definitely shoved into drawers! This is no way to treat our treasured memories, yet it happens- all those old family photos that have never been scanned into the computer or made it into photo albums - who has the time?


The first step in a situation like this is to simply gather them into one place. Go ahead, gather them up! A safe and lovely way to keep them together is in a decorative paper box. Plastic envelopes and boxes can hold humidity and cause water damage to your pictures, while boxes made of light cardboard and pretty paper actually protect them from minor dampness by absorbing it. Organizing pictures can take a lot of time, and is easier done in steps. The first step is to gather them in one place that will protect them from humidity, dust, and general damage. Later you can divide them by year, or celebration, however you like. Simply place a piece of acid-free paper with the year written on it between the stacks. Next time you tackle them, invite a friend or relative over - you can even have them bring over their own lost photos - and make an afternoon out of it! Have a nice lunch together, and fill up your photo albums or make scrapbooks together. And if all else fails and you never get around to it, well, at least you've left your family a pretty treasure chest to discover!

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September 22, 2009 Flag
22 found this helpful

Over the years, I have taken many pictures. On a rainy afternoon, I started to sort through them so I could start putting them into albums. I was surrounded by stacks of photographs and boxes of more photographs.

As I sat among the stacks of photographs I came up with the idea to take all my shoes out of my hanging shoe bag and use it to sort and store the pictures. It has worked super well and I could easily organize all my pictures and work on them when I wanted to with no stress.

By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL

September 23, 20090 found this helpful

Your idea is fatastic. However, I try to keep up with this task as I get the photos printed at Meijers. I use the plastic photo sleeves and put them in the pockets then a photo album. It's the best way to keep ahead of the game.

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September 26, 20090 found this helpful

As the oldest member of my family I just became The Keeper of the Family Photos. Eventually I want to put them in albums or scrapbooks. In the meantime I have to sort them. And this will work very well.

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September 21, 20140 found this helpful

November 16, 2010 Flag
10 found this helpful

When you get film developed or download your pictures to your computer, be sure to date them and state who is in the picture. Future children (great-great-grand children) may inherit them and then they'd know when the picture was taken and who is in it.

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February 6, 2015 Flag
4 found this helpful

I have thousands of pictures that I will never have time to sort through and dozens of old photo albums. Now, I make quarterly a picture book. It cost between $25-30 dollars. And they are simple, light weight, customized, great conversation piece on my coffee table. And they can travel well with me

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June 19, 2008 Flag

Many of us now have digital cameras and if you are like me, the pictures rarely go any farther than the computer. We tend to buy the biggest memory cards that hold sometimes 600 pictures.

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April 9, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

Does anyone have a better way to store family pics? I currently have mine stored in photo albums, but over the years the clear plastic that folds over the page won't stick anymore and the pictures keep falling out. I really don't like stashing my pics away in photo boxes because they seemed so unorganized that way. I find it very enjoyable to look at pics in the photo albums when company arrives or simply alone. Any suggestions?

By Onesummer

April 9, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use albums that have clear vinyl pockets that hold 4x6" photos. When I have smaller photos I can put 2-3 in each pocket. I used to use the ones that sound like what you discribed and when I wanted to switch albums, I had an awful time getting some of them out, because they stuck to the pages.

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April 10, 20120 found this helpful
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Digitally is great, as suggested. I scan mine, then keep them in folders by person, groups, etc. They are my screen saver, and I also back them up on an external hard drive and DVDs. If you have a really great editing software like or the one on your scanner, you can get a great quality as well as send them to others at a moment's notice.

I included a shot of my friends dog so you can see what I mean. It's a bit time consuming, but it's all worth it in the end.

I hope these all help.

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July 10, 20120 found this helpful
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March 30, 2010 Flag

With the computer age, many people now store their pictures on discs. But for those of us who still like standard photo albums, here's an idea.

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November 20, 2007 Flag
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Help! I am putting 40 years worth of photos into albums! What a mess, and its so difficult to categorize them; according to ages and which grandchild age to put where, when they are all together w/family. I wish we could have afforded picture albums then! I've been doing this for 2 weeks and every room of my house is messy picture piles everywhere on every table.

All of that to ask you is this; my daughter is on her 3rd marriage (and her last!) so the problem is, do you put the pictures of the children's fathers in the album too? I don't want to offend my son in law now. The mom and dad are in the pictures with the kids too. I'm trying to leave out the ones where they are standing too close, etc. But the pictures are so good! What do you do in this case?

I think my grandsons should be able to see their dads in the pictures from their *babyhood* along w/ their mom. One of the dads we don't care for, but I want to be fair to the child. I even thought of carefully cutting out his face or something lol, but I don't want to ruin the picture. Or making a private album and keeping it hidden. Then at least one day maybe the kids will get to see it, or not. I can't be the only one who this bugs. What do you do in this case?

November 21, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

I've organized pictures for my mom and for my husband when we got married. He also had about 40 years worth of pictures.

The best way, that I've found, is sort out all the pictures, first by size, square ones in one pile, rectangular ones in a pile, portraits (school, professional) in another pile. Then separate color from black and white. Then separate the curly edges from the straight edges, and block corners from rounded corners. Separate the pictures with a white border around them from the ones that don't have a border. By this time you will be able to tell which are the older pictures and which are the newer pictures. Also, note that many of the older pictures have the date printed in the border. Put the same dates together.

Once that is done, turn them all upside down and start separating by the code on the back of the picture. The newer ones might not have codes, but some will. Once they are separated by codes, then you have all the pictures from the same roll of film together and you know that those were taken around the same time, probably within a month of each other. Many of them are even numbered and dated so you can tell what order they are in. Do this with all the piles that you have. If you have any left over that don't have codes (and you will have culled the pictures quite a bit) then you can put the pictures together by backgrounds or same clothing that each person is wearing. Maybe someone took a picture of a little girl in the back yard in the morning and then again in the kitchen eating dinner. You know it was the same day because she's wearing the same clothes.

It is amazing how easy they are to put together and usually in fairly decent order using this system. You can generally tell an order by the age of the person in the picture.

I sorted my husband's pictures and did great, got them in albums in order, then his mother brought over a whole new box to go through. I had to try to insert them, in order, with the ones I'd already sorted. Then, believe it or not, his ex-wife brought over a bunch of hers and I had to do it all over again. But the system worked!

Hope this helps.

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November 22, 20070 found this helpful
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These are great ideas. I wanted to add that as the grown-up kid of a divorce and various remarriages by parents that excluding one parent may be taken as a hurt by the children involved. A child knows that he/she is the product of two parents and if one is excluded, then they child may wonder if something is wrong with them too. I would include all the photos where the children are present and also a few of just the couple.

I remember being comforted by seeing happy couple and wedding pictures of my parents as a child. It said that even if things didn't work out for them later, there was a time when my parents were happy together. If the new spouse is insecure, than I think making an album just for the kids is a great idea.

I cheated on this when I had to sort through several boxes of family pictures after grandma had a stroke. I scanned them all, sorting them into folders by family branch as I went, then burned a CD for the interested people. They can go get real "pictures" to make albums. I don't have the artistic skills.

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January 14, 20080 found this helpful
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January 24, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I'm overwhelmed with old photo prints, 3 or 4 generations worth. Any suggestions on sorting, and storing? I'm not a scrapbooker, but eventually, would like to do one for each of my children. I'm also into genealogy, so would like to keep that in mind for the old family photos. Thanks, y'all.

By Gloria

January 25, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do so agree with Chloelizabeth. Label everything you can. If you've any family left, ask them. If you're lucky enough to still live in the place you were brought up, ask the villagers, some-one may know something. Even if it is only 'I think that's so-and-so' write it down, qualified as a possibility. I have a WWI photo of a man in khaki and four great-uncles it could be, or perhaps it's none of them. It would be so fascinating to know. When they've gone from memory, they're gone forever.

Marg from England.

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January 26, 20120 found this helpful
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I'm still working on organizing my photos, but the first thing I did was label all of them with at least the year and who was in the picture. Next I sorted them by year. My friend gave me a nifty photo organizer, and it was perfect. It was just a box with dividers built into it, but it was just what I needed.

I have a digital camera now, and every time I take the photos off the camera, I rename the file with the year first, then month, then day and then who is in the picture and/or the place the photo was taken. NO photo is allowed on my computer if it hasn't been properly labeled. This philosophy keeps me from being lazy about labeling and then having to label hundreds of photos at once. On my computer I have the photos saved in folders labeled with the year, and inside those folders, I have the month folders. I save the photos in the corresponding folders.

Someday maybe I will have my scrapbooks done, but for now, it is good enough to know my photos are all labeled and sorted. Yes, I do have a backup of my photos. I'd hate to lose them.

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January 26, 20120 found this helpful

November 1, 2011 Flag
4 found this helpful

If you are overwhelmed with years of unorganized photos, start with the current ones first, and get them organized.

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August 4, 2009 Flag

I was cleaning out some file cabinets to sell today and happened to find a shoe box full of photos. I picked it up, the phone rang, and I sat it down.

photo storage

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March 8, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have been given 6000 photos for work and now work wants me to organize them in numerical order and find some way to catalogue them. They also want some of the photos to be placed in frames and hung around in the office.

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