Deciding what to keep can be overwhelming. Following a few simple guidelines can make this process easier by using the ABCs of photo organizing to stay on track.
A stands for Album
These photos are the best of the best! The ones that belong in an album, the ones that you would mourn
if you lost them in a disaster, such as a fire or flood. These are the photos that you’ll want to scan, digitize, back up and display. It doesn’t mean we’re going to put all these photos into albums, it just means
they are “album worthy”.
B stands for Box
These photos are the extras that support your best. They are the ones you aren’t ready to part with but want to have access to at some point in the future. These photos will be archived for safe-keeping but not necessarily digitized.
C stands for Can
Yes, you CAN re-purpose these photos or throw them in the trashcan. Our collections are filled with doubles, triples and REALLY BAD photos. Toss duplicates, blurry or unflattering photos, excess scenery photos, etc. This is the hardest, but yes, you can throw photos away! It’s easy to get frozen in place by too many photos. If it seems too hard, put them in a separate bag and go back later to sort them.
S stands for Story
This is the most important part. Even if the photo isn’t the best picture does it tell a STORY? An old blurry photo may have your Dad’s first car in the background! Be careful you aren’t tossing history.
Our natural tendency is to sort chronologically, but with today’s high volume of photos it can be overwhelming. Choose to organize in themes that represent your life (weddings, vacations, sports, heritage, by child, pets, school, Christmas, birthdays, etc.) Themes are easier to identify than dates and easier to pull together for an album. Start with the present and work backwards.
Chronological order already in place? Keep it! You can still identify themes, and group photos based on your end goal.
Digitizing your media is one of the most important steps you can take to secure your memory collection.
Scanning extends the lifetime of your photo: Your printed photos are decaying and deteriorating even under optimum storage conditions. When you make a digital copy, you have the ability to enhance the image, restore it to its original color and fix damaged photos.
Scanning creates a backup of your printed images.
Scanning increases your ability to share and enjoy your photos. When you have digital copies of your photos (and your albums), your printed photos can be shared via social media and online photo archives. Printed photos, children’s artwork, letters, report cards, greeting cards, any type of memorabilia can be digitized and memorialized! Even 3D items! Once scanned, photos are digitized and can be made into photo books and gifts just like your digital photos!