If you have kids, you likely have a ton of photos. The older your kids are…..likely the more photos you have. It is so easy now to take pictures anywhere, anytime with a camera on your phone (which you always have with you). Which is great, isn’t it??
Can you imagine having to take an actual camera with you everywhere and every time you wanted to take a picture? No wonder most of us hardly have any pictures of ourselves growing up. It was a lot of work and money to take pictures and develop the photos. Not to mention, you couldn’t even tell when you took the picture if it was going to turn out good.
Now our issue is exactly the opposite!
It is not that we have too few photos, but we have an overwhelming abundance of photos! I am not sure about you, but I have a photo from almost every single day the past 6+ years (since the day my son was born), if not many more than just one. Then don’t even get me started on how many pictures I have from my kids birthdays, parties, activities, Christmas and vacations. Photo overload!!
So what is the best way to store and organize your physical and digital photos? Here are some tips when it comes to photo organization and being able to find photos when you need them.
Physical Photo Organization
Personally I don’t develop near as many photos as I used to. Now I really only develop photos for frames or specific albums. And even that – most of my photo albums are now digital if I choose to make one for a vacation. Furthermore, each year I make a digital photo album for each of my kids with photos from the year and notes & highlights from the year.
Tips For Organizing Physical Photos
- Select an overall theme for how you will organize your photos. Will you organize them by date, by person, or by event? When you look for a photo how does it make sense to you to search for it? For example, I am a numbers/dates type of person so I organize my photos by month and year. The only exception is I will have special albums for vacations. I don’t mix those within a regular month/year. However I do label my vacation albums with the destination and year since there are some destinations I have visited more than once.
- Develop only your favorite photos or the ones you will use for a frame or project. Developing every single photo you take will not only cost loads of money, but they will take up a ton of space.
- Store physical photos in photo albums or a photo storage box. Do not just throw them in a box, container, bag, or envelope because you will never look through them or be able to find a photo when you need one. Personally, I have some albums for specific events (vacations & our wedding) and the rest of my random photos are in date order in photo boxes. This way I can quickly file through them when I am looking for a picture.
- Label storage boxes or albums on the outside by date, person or event so you know specifically what is in them.
- If you are doing photo albums, get albums that have space to write next to the photo so you can write a little bit about what the photo is about or from. You may think you will always remember that event or who was there, but over time those details get lost. If you are storing photos in a photo box, write on the back of the picture what the event was, who was in the photo, the date or any other pertinent information. You will thank yourself later if you take a little bit of time to do this step.
- Store your photo boxes and/or albums together in the same area. This way you always know where all your photos are when you need them.
- When you switch out photos from frames or on the fridge, make sure to put them in the correct album or photo box so they are stored in the right spot.
Digital Photo Organization
The great thing about digital photos is you can take as many pictures as you want (for free) and you can keep them all. However, the difficult part with digital photos is how and where to store them and being able to find a specific picture when you need it – especially the more photos you have. To help keep your digital photos organized and easily able to find your pictures – check out these tips.
Tips For Organizing Digital Photos
- Select where you will all store your digital photos. There are many different options and I recommend choosing several between personal storage and 3rd party storage. For example, I have my photos stored on my phone, the icloud, google photos, walgreens.com, and on a hard drive. For more digital storage options click HERE.
- Keep up with where you store your digital photos. If you choose Walgreens, make sure you upload ALL of your photos to Walgreens. This way when you are searching for a specific picture, you know you will be able to find it.
- Similar to physical photos, pick an overall theme for how you will organize your digital photos. Will you organize them by date, by person, or by event? When you look for a photo how does it make sense to you to search for it? For example, I am a numbers/dates type of person so I organize my digital photos by month and year. The only exception is I will have special folders for vacations. I don’t mix those within a regular month/year. Although, I do label my vacations with the destination and year since there are some destinations I have visited more than once.
- Back up your digital photos. Whether it is on a disk, flash drive, or hard drive. Once or twice a year back up your photos onto another device. We store this extra device with our photos in our fireproof safe.
- If you are like me you take a lot of pictures. So periodically go through the photos you take on your phone and delete duplicates or ones you have no idea what they are, etc. Go through the photos and videos on your phone and clean it up. This will save you space on your phone and wherever else you store your photos. In addition, it will save you time when searching for photos because you won’t have as many to look through.
Final Thoughts On Organizing Your Physical & Digital Photos
There is no right or wrong way to organize your physical and digital photos. In the end, you have to do what works best for you. You may try one method and figure out it is not working well, so then go try another. All that matters is you are able to find and view your photos at the drop of a hat and that the organization theme makes sense and works for you.
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