Photographs have a way of accumulating over time. Every time we experience an important life event or take a vacation, we commemorate it by taking pictures. Even in these days of digital photography, many people still have boxes full of printed photos. Organizing digital photos represents a different kind of challenge.
Organizing your photos doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is a clear system that will help you to sort and store your photos safely.
Tips for Organizing Digital Photos
Digital cameras have made great photography easier than ever before. However, it is important to stay organized and to have a dedicated storage system so you can find the photos you need easily.
- Make sure to download photos from your camera on a regular basis. If you download while your memory is still fresh, you’ll be able to organize your photos easily. As you download, delete duplicate or blurry photos.
- If you’re so inclined, take the time to do a little photo editing. For example, you might want to fix red eye, sharpen contrast, or add captions to your photos.
- Set up files on your computer to help you easily identify where photos were taken. For example, you might want to label them by date, or by the name of a particular event. For example, Cape Cod Vacation 072015 is a name that would help you find photos from your vacation.
- You may want to create subfolders too, especially if you want to organize photos of your kids by school year or sort out pictures of particular people.
- Have a good backup system to ensure that you don’t lose pictures in the event your computer crashes. Some options include storing your photos on an external hard drive or uploading them to the cloud.
As long as you stick to your system, you’ll always be able to find your digital photographs when you need them.
Tips for Organizing Printed Photos
Storing printed photographs can pose some unique challenges. If they are not stored properly, photographs can be damaged. Here are some ways to organize and protect them.
- If you do not currently have your photos organized, start by gathering them all together. As you sort through them, put them into piles that will help you do additional organizing later.
- Photographs need to be stored in acid-free paper if you want to protect them. Some options include buying acid-free envelopes, photo storage boxes, or photo albums. It might be nice to have a series of matching albums that contain all of your photographs.
- Decide how you want to organize your photos – by year or by event – and then sort them into piles accordingly. As you do, use an acid-free, photo-safe pencil or pen to (lightly) label them. If you use photo albums, you may want to write beneath the photos instead of writing on them.
- Once your photos are organized, label each album, box, or envelope accordingly so you can find what you need.
- If you have photos that have been damaged already, consider scanning them and using photo editing software to repair them as much as you can.
When you store printed photographs, make sure to put them in a place where they will not be exposed to moisture or high heat. As a rule, cellars and attics are not good choices. It is best to find a storage location inside the house where the temperature will be somewhat stable.
If you follow these suggestions, you will never have to scramble around looking for your precious memories because they’ll always be exactly where you put them.