Photo storage and organization is one of the many types of organizing projects Eliminate Chaos specializes in. Although Eliminate Chaos has been organizing photos for years for clients, Laura wanted to interview and gain additional feedback from someone who also organizes photos professionally. Laura contacted Molly Bullard of Seattle Photo Organizing and they had a great chat regarding the storage and organization of printed photos. Here are some of her ideas as well as Laura’s.
What is the best way to store photos?
Before you begin this project, consider how you would like to view the photos in the future. Do you want to look at them in photo albums, flip through photos in a box, put them in a scrapbook or frame some? Maybe you prefer a combination of these methods. There is no right or wrong method, it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Your main focus is to store your photos in a way that makes it easy for family and friends to enjoy.
What is the best way to begin a photo organizing project?
Molly said it’s best to designate a space and pull all of your photos out so you can see everything you have. Doing this will also allow you to take breaks from the project and come back to it as time permits. Molly likes to use folders to aide in the sorting process and to help categorize.
Qualities to look for in photo storage products
Any product you purchase to store printed photos in should be acid-free and lignin free if possible to protect your photos from discoloration.
Photo storage products
One of Molly’s favorite products is acid-free folders or storage bags. She suggested the website www.archivalmethods.com. If you don’t have time to organize your printed photos into albums, at the very least, purchase several acid-free photo storage boxes to put them in until you are ready to begin. On an ongoing basis; it’s always nice to have a place to put photos you receive from others until you make some time to put them into your desired system.
Deciding what to keep
Molly shared that one reason why people don’t want to start this project is because they aren’t sure if someone will want the photos they have.
When you are deciding what to keep, Molly recommends the following guidelines:
1. Discard the photo if you can’t see anyone you know.
2. Don’t keep duplicates.
3. Give yourself permission to let go.
Ways to organize photos
The good news is there is no right or wrong way to organize your photos. You may however want to organize them based on some of the following themes:
• Events: weddings, graduations, milestone birthdays
• Family: by person, extended family, children
If you organize by one of these themes, you may also want to put them in chronological order.
Writing instruments for photos
Use photo-safe pens when writing on photos. Using a non-safe pen could potentially have the ink bleed through the paper over time or it could rub off on other photos, Molly said. Molly also suggested you write in the bottom corner so that if you scan the photo at some point, you won’t see the writing on the photo.
Enjoy the trip down memory lane as you organize your photos and remember Eliminate Chaos is just a call away if you would like help.