Oh, those printed photos. What to do with those boxes and albums of pictures? It can be overwhelming!
Old albums were not photo-safe and might be leaching the color from your photos. Loose pictures can get stuck, torn, and worn on the edges. Pictures held with fridge magnets might be out-dated and curled, and those in a basement box could be starting to absorb moisture. And then there are the photos hiding in various spots around the house.
Here's a method to handle them, so that you can preserve and share the memories with others.
Photo boxes are a great way to get all your photos into chronological order. They come with dividers that can be labeled for each year, or each decade. For example you might have a divider for each decade prior to the year 1990, and then a divider for each year after that. If you are giving some away, you can have a divider for that person. Special occasions, or categories like pets, can have their own divider too.
Now start looking through your photos. As you look at each one, decide if you will keep it, give it away, or trash it (yes, it’s ok to put a picture in the garbage or shredding).
Pictures you can consider getting rid of are duplicates (or near duplicates), sceneries, ones out of focus, ones where the person/people don’t look good (think eating pictures), or ones where you don’t know who it is.
The photos you are keeping go into the box behind one of the dividers. Photos without a date can either go in their own divider to be decided later, or take your best guess at the year and put it in the box. Once you figure out a year, write it on a back corner, or with a photo-safe pen. For larger pictures, try trimming them to a size that will fit in the box.
Once you have them safely in the photo boxes, you can decide what you’ll do with them. Scanning them creates a backup and allows you to share them with others. Photo books are a great way to tell a story and print multiple copies. Themed calendars can be fun too.
Even if the photo boxes are as far as you go, the memories can easily be enjoyed one section at a time, visually telling the story of you and your family!