Sometimes all the print photos, artwork, letters and memorabilia you have accumulated, is overwhelming! You have no idea how to begin organizing it all, so usually you don’t. It’s important to give yourself a break. The photos didn’t just appear one day, they represent years of memories. Memories that deserve to be organized, archived and shared, but to do it properly, can take time.
It’s important to think through your project before you dive in. Here are 4 steps to take BEFORE you begin to sort and organize.
Gather everything into one location. Drawers, envelopes, boxes, closets, inside books, old albums…wherever you may have items stored. Find them and bring them all together. If you do not have the room to gather everything in one spot, take a picture of where things are located or make a list, so you do not forget about what you have when it comes time to organize. This can take some time, but this is your starting point and congratulations for taking that first step!
Set a goal/make a plan. Think about what you would like your end result to be. Are you doing this to have all photos organized in boxes, are you creating digital photo albums, or slideshows? Will you organize chronologically, by themes or a combination? Are you keeping only the best photos or just getting rid of duplicates? As a photo organizer I ask a lot of questions to help you create the best plan.
Create a timeline. As you go back through years of photos it may be hard to remember what year Janie started girl scouts or Uncle Bob got married, so creating a timeline with important milestone dates and important people (names) gives you something to quickly refer to while sorting.
Setup a workspace and gather supplies. Setup a temporary workspace where you can spread out and where your project can remain visible if possible. If your project is visible you are more likely to stay focused on the end goal.
What tools might you need to begin your project? A photo organizer’s kit includes cotton gloves, sticky notes, index cards, photo labeling pen, dental floss, garbage bags and/or different sizes of storage bags, bins, boxes or envelopes for sorting. It’s also helpful to have a tablet, smartphone or computer to take notes.
Tackling your photo collection can be a big project, but I believe you will never regret taking on the challenge. The end result will be worth it. Following these 4 steps before you start sorting and organize will set you up for success. If you have additional questions or would like more information on how a Professional Photo Organizer can help, shoot me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.guthardcreativedesigns.com
Tamara Guthard a Photo Manager | Marketing Designer that is working to help families and small businesses tell their stories through organization and design. Photo organizing and effective marketing design.