Top 10 Tips for Organizing your Printed Photos

An organized photo collection makes it easier to find your photos and keep them safe. Set yourself up for success with these 10 tips:

  1. Gather everything to one area – a place where you can leave it for a while.
  2. Write your goal on a sticky note and hang it where you will see it.
  3. Set up your workspace – clear space on the floor or bed so you can spread out.
  4. Gather supplies – photo boxes (archival ones are best), sticky notes, index cards, photo safe pen, microfiber cloth, cotton gloves, garbage bag (yes, it’s OK to throw away bad photos).
Top 10 Tips for Organizing Your Printed Photos
Top 10 Tips for Organizing Your Printed Photos
  1. Do a rough sort first – write the decades on your index cards and sort your photos into these piles.
  2. Create a pile for photos that don’t fit your decade piles – those you can’t place or would like to organize a different way – make notes on an index card you keep with this pile. Grandma’s pictures, Family Reunions, etc.
  3. Do a detailed sort – each year in the decade pile, or sort by era – high school years, college years, early married life, babies, etc. Use index cards to label each new pile. Your older photos, say from the 1930’s, may just stay as a decade pile.
  4. Do a final sort -put each year in order and place the photos in storage boxes. Use index cards as separators for each decade, year or theme.
  5. Label your boxes according to what’s in them – example Family Photos 1978.
  6. Store your boxes in a safe location.

Bonus Tip – scan your photos and do something fun with them!

  • Share them on social media
  • Share them with family and friends
  • Make a photo book
  • Make photo gifts
  • Print them larger and make a gallery wall
  • Upload them to a family sharing website