Organizing your photos

Start with the last roll of film you pick up after it was developed and put it into a storage box, then put the next one in back of it and then nest and then next. If you do not have time to go back and organize all of your old photos yet, at least let this be your starting point.

Work on first getting all of your photos and memorabilia into one place. This task may take a month or more depending on how thorough you are and how many places your photographs are stored. Look in the garage, attic, drawers, files, closets, old and new albums, frames around your house, old Christmas cards and letters from family members. If you know that there are family members that have photos that you would like copies of, now is the time to ask for copies. While you are at it, think about all the photos that you have framed in your home. These photos will be the first to fade and deteriorate. Do you need to get copies made to put in a safe place, if so this is a great time to have the copies made.

If you have magnetic albums (self adhesive) that are less than 5 years old, tackle these first. The majority of damage done to a photo is in its first 5 years.   If you have 20 or more years of photos in magnetic albums, tackle the newest ones first and work your way back.  Are your photos stuck in the magnetic albums? Try dental floss to pry them off safely. If that doesn't work you can try releasing the glue with a blow dryer on LOW HEAT for just a few minutes. Also, you can try the product UN-DU that removes adhesive, if all else fails, it should work. The last option, if they just will NOT come out is to have copies made of the photos right where they are. Kodak makes kiosks that will make a photos from a photo without having a negative.

If you have old family scrapbooks read this before you tear them apart.

Purchase archival quality photo boxes for all your photos. Decide on a negative storage system and purchase it before you begin. At this time you might want to have index prints made of your photos. An index print shows a thumbnail of each shot on a roll. It comes with the new APS processed film. However, you can take your old 35 mm negatives and have an index print made for a reasonable fee.


For a small monthly fee you can store photos on-line.

Transfer the photos on to CD ROMs and store them in a safe deposit box.

Make an electronic scrapbook and place it on CD ROM.

Store negatives in a safe deposit box

Investigate albums and purchase the album/ albums that you will need to start your project. Decide on the type of album(s) that you will be completing. Are you doing one larger family photo album with everyone's photos in it or will you be completing an album for every child? Will you be doing vacation and Christmas albums or will these events go in your family albums. Make these decisions now, before you sort.

Plan to set aside time for sorting, depending on your situation and just sort through all of the old photos and memorabilia. You will sort first by decade and then year by year. If you are sorting for special holiday or vacation albums keep that in mind as you sort. You may want to enlist your family to help you if you have many years of photos to sort. Your children may remember the year that Tracey got a Cindy Doll and Jimmy got the Hot Wheels Race Set better than you do. Your family may also be able to add details for you to journal into your albums.

Getting Started - Photos
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