Ready, Set, Share!

Written by Martha on November 7th, 2011

I had a wonderful time recently with 6 gals and 1 guy in my photo organizing workshop at Westerville Senior Center. It seemed fitting as we sorted memories that we met at the Everal Homestead in Heritage Park. What a beautiful facility!

As a group, we commiserated that we have more photos than we know what to do with. When I asked these questions to determine “Why photo organizing?” the group had some great answers! You have to laugh when the person sitting next to you says what you are thinking.

“What you don’t want?”

  • A hodge-podge of boxes and bins full of photos in closet, attic, or basement
  • Precious memories being eroded by those very popular, but acidic, sticky photo albums
  • Photos of vacations that your parents took with their friends
  • Not being able to find that picture you know you have when you need it
  • Blurry, dark or otherwise meaningless photos that you should have pitched 15 years ago

“What you do want?”

  • Less volume, more quality photos by choice
  • A definite order in place so you can find photos you love
  • Ability to easily share memories with friends and family
  • Know what your options are for storage and sharing photos, both physically or digitally

My next question was “Can you actually get there from here?” and the answer is: Definitely! These are the steps we practiced in the workshop.

  1. Gather all your containers of photos in one place.
  2. Choose 5-10 categories that most of your photos will fit into. For example – Travel, Friends, Church Folk, Family History, Childhood, Holidays, Work Life. Write each category on a sticky note or 3 x 5 card.
  3. Sort photos into your categories. (Attaching your titles to shoebox-sized Sterilite bins will work for this task, $1 at Odd Lots or Target.) Use rubber bands if necessary to keep specific events, dated pics together. Discard all duds, photo developing envelopes, and negatives. Keep the memories.
  4. Decide on a format for long term storage or sharing – archival quality album sleeves, scrapbooking, converting to digital on CD/DVD, archival boxes, etc.

Now you are ready to actually DO something with your photos. Here are your choices:

  • If you have lots of time, make the album, scrapbook, or CD.
  • If you have more money than time, hire someone else to do it.

If you have neither money nor time to spare, organize your categories into archival photo boxes (the modern version of a shoebox) and leave it for someone else to do when you are gone.

Whichever you choose, rejoice that you know where to find what you need and can share one box (album, scrapbook, or CD) at a time with friends and family!

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2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Emily says:

    Throw-away photos of a person who you love but the photo itself just isn’t particularly good or worth saving–I put these in a shoebox and store it with my craft supplies. My children love to make valentine’s day cards, birthday cards, christmas cards, etc. with these photos. They’ll cut the face of the person out in the shape of a heart, and glue it on construction paper with glitter and sequins, and when all is said an done the overall effect is very sweet and precious. And I don’t worry about them “ruining” a good photo–because these are the throw-away ones. It also makes sorting through photos to keep and throw away easier–because the ones that I’m “on the fence” about, I know they’re not good enough to make the final cut, so they go into the crafting box. Then I don’t feel so bad about not scrapbooking them.

    • Martha says:

      What a great idea, Emily! You know the photos will be used in another way rather than “throwing away” someone you love. How are things down in the OU area?

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