May 19, 2008

A Shoebox is not the Solution

How many of you still have a shoebox full of unorganized, unlabeled photographs? I admit it, even I do. How often is there a photo you need for something and you have to frantically search through your entire house, looking for the one perfect photo? There are a few basic steps you can follow to organize your pictures so you can spend more time scrapping them and less time searching.

The first decision you need to make is how you want to store your photos until you are able to put them in scrapbooks. There are lots of photo storage boxes available from many scrapbook manufacturers.

My favorite photo storage system is made by Creative Memories. The Power Sort box will hold up to 2,400 5x7 photos, has removable compartments and dividers as well as a pocket for holding larger photos and keepsakes. It is also available in a smaller size which will hold 600 photos and is perfect for carrying with you when you scrapbook on the go.

Once you’ve decided on where you are going to store your photos, you need to consider how you want to sort them. There are many organization methods. The following are a few that are common for scrapbooking:

This method works best if you have tons of photos. Start by sorting your pictures into piles by year. Then, if possible sort them into months.

By Theme
If scrapbooking chronologically isn’t your style, try sorting your pictures by theme. It’s fun to make themed albums. For example, you can gather all of your Christmas photos from the last ten years and make a Christmas album. You can sort them by holidays, vacations, sports, etc.

By Person
You can sort your pictures by person, or groups of people. This is a common method to use when you are creating a separate album for each of your children.

By Event
If you have the habit of taking an entire roll of film for one event, it is easy to sort your photos simply by labeling the envelope they come in from the developer. Then store them chronologically, or by subject in a protective container.

Most people use a combination of organization methods. I sort my pictures chronologically first, and then sort them by child. I also have a section in my storage container for our family albums which I scrapbook by event.

As you can see, there are as many ways to store and sort your photos as there are to scrapbook them. I think sorting and organizing photos is the most overwhelming part of scrapbooking. Once you get them organized, be sure to stay on top of them and file your pictures away as soon as you get them.

If you need help storing and organizing digital photos, check back soon because I will be talking about it in an upcoming blog.

Return to the Neighborhood.


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