How To Organize Old Photos

framed photo of father and son

We’re all guilty of it: taking a million pictures and letting them crowd up our camera roll until our storage is filled. Then we maybe post them to social media or add them to a Google folder for safekeeping. But what happens next? Usually, nothing! But there are plenty of ways you can organize and store your old photos, whether they are the above-mentioned digital photo files or actual printed photos (remember those?). We’re going to help you get organized, stay organized, and display the photos you love most! 

Let’s Get Started

Different style frames on piano

This first part may take some time, depending on how many photos you have. Whether you are working with the pictures on your phone, laptop, or camera or you are working with photos you have printed out, you must first start with grouping them together. Add a new folder on your phone or get a photo album ready. If you don’t want to put your printed photos in albums just use appropriately sized envelopes (or even the ones included from the place you had them printed).

Group them by occasion, season, year, or even by a person. This way all the pictures that have a connection will be together and easily accessible at a later time. If you have run out of room on your phone’s camera roll, try downloading Google Photos which gives you unlimited space to store your photos. From there, create folders within the app to separate your connected photos. For your actual photos, don’t forget to label the envelopes with keywords.

Again, this may take you some time, so don’t try to tackle it all at once. Or make it a two-step process. First assemble them by year and then go back and organize them into smaller groupings. Remember, preparation is key to any task and although it’s not much “fun” it will be well worth the effort in the long run. 

Know When To Toss Photos 

Old family photograph

Speaking of things that are not fun, throwing away some of the memories you’ve made is probably not high on your list of enjoyable activities.  But let’s face it, you can’t keep every single photo you’ve had printed (well, you can but that’s called hoarding) and storing every digital photo you’ve taken, even if you have the space, makes it so much harder to find the one you want to print. So, as painful as it may sound, know when to get rid of some. 

Start with the photos that are of poor quality.  Some may look like they were taken by a professional, but others, not so much!  Toss those immediately. They’re blurry, out of focus, or in bad lighting. There is zero need to crowd your storage space with those. Delete them. Your printed photographs are faded, torn, or you’re not even sure who’s in them or where they were taken. Time to add them to the trash pile.

If you have duplicates (and who doesn’t?) you need to compare and select the better photo. We are all guilty of snapping away sometimes and getting the same photo over, and over, and over again. Honestly, sometimes they look like carbon copies of each other. Sure, you can keep unlimited digital photos, but why would you? And if they are printed already and you can’t bring yourself to throw them away, why not give the duplicates to the people who were there with you in the photo. Let them share the memories of your time together with you.

Now that that’s done, don’t you feel better? Getting rid of clutter really is good for the soul! And with all the good photos you’ve saved, chances are you won’t miss the bad ones you’ve tossed. Plus it’s easier to do the next step: storing them.

Storing Photos

Old photobook

The hard part is behind you. Once you have organized all your photos, it is now time to put them away. We’ve mentioned the different methods of storing both digital and paper photos already, but let’s discuss that a bit more. 

If you are storing printed photos decide which ones you want to store in an album so they are easily accessible for you to look through when you want or show them off if you choose to. There is nothing like going through an album of vacation pics or a special occasion to instantly bring back great memories! For all the “extras” keep them safe in the envelopes we mentioned earlier, and for added protection put those envelopes in a plastic storage bin to keep them safe from moisture and other damage. 

Digital photos can also be kept safe by backing them up, whether it’s to your iCloud, an app, or even Facebook. Pick a safe place to back them up to, even if its a USB, where you can access them anywhere, that way if something happens to your phone, you still have access to your photos. 

Final Thoughts 

Gallery wall

Okay, organizing does not sound like much fun. In fact, with photos it can seem downright daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. This could be a really fun activity for you to do with your family. Go through and remember all the fun times you had together, Tell a funny story from the memory or simply remember a loved one who may no longer be with you. Or if you’re doing it solo, make yourself a nice cup of tea or pour yourself a glass of wine and you may find it a lot more enjoyable than you thought.

Either way, you will feel so much better that the memories you’ve created are now safely put away for when you need them. Who knows, you might even have found a couple you’ve been meaning to frame for yourself or that would make the perfect gift for someone special. Head on over to our Frame Designer and start creating!  And don’t worry about the size of your photos or the space you have to display them. Check out tips on framing small art or if you want to frame a large photo we have tips for that too! Don’t forget what we always say, the best part about custom framing is that it’s up to you. We let you design your perfect frame start to finish, so it arrives exactly how you want it! 

Happy organizing! And if you’ve gone ahead and framed some of your most treasured memories send us pictures, we would love to see what you created.  

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