Organizing your family photographs may seem like an overwhelming task but it is one that will lead you down memory lane in the best way. We all have boxes or bags of old-fashioned film photographs that would do best in albums.
Summer may be the perfect time to recall old memories. You may have more time during these months, or perhaps one of your kids is looking for a way to fill time or even earn a little pocket money.
Set aside a weekend, a few evenings, or some other blocks of time and indulge yourself and your kids in happy times.
Out with the Bad
Once you come to terms with the idea that not every photograph is sacred, the job of getting them in order will be far easier.
Toss pictures of people you don't know, as well as any duplicates and blurry ones. Get rid of pictures that make your loved ones look awkward or (dare we suggest?) homely!
Keep the photos that are clear and in good condition. Keep those that are commemorate events, vacations, and holidays you want to remember.
As you come across them, give away some photos to friends and family members.
Avoid sentimentality. Quality is far more important than quantity in most instances.
Storage and Display
Depending on how serious you are about preserving your photos, there are any number of materials and supplies you can buy. It is usually worth it to talk to a reputable dealer who specializes in photo supplies.
Photos can be slipped into albums, stored in archival boxes, or put into frames. The frames might have multiple windows, allowing you to create a photo collage.
For fine photographs or any that are especially dear, ask about acid-free, archival quality storage sleeves or boxes.
If you decide to save negatives, leave them in their sleeves and store them flat, away from heat and light. It's useful to keep them in plastic sleeves in three-ring binders, safe from dust, dirt, and insects. Don't forget to mark the negative sleeves so you can identify them easily.
Saving photos on computer discs is a convenient way to keep track of them.
While you can simply slip photographs into the plastic sleeves in album after album, if you develop a system, they will be more fun to view.
Decide to arrange them by year, event, trip, or person. Or a combination of any of these. For instance, it might be fun to put Christmas pictures together in several albums, or make a family vacation album that spans several years.
You might want to put together an album for each baby, to keep as a special keepsake for that child.
If you have relevant mementos, slip them into the albums, too. These might be airline ticket stubs to a faraway destination, a birth announcement, or a program from a school play.
Take Control from Here
Buy several empty albums and slip new photos into them as you get them printed. This way, you will avoid a future day when those overflowing shoe boxes and torn shopping bags start taking over your house!
For those you don't print, create easily identified online albums, ready to be shared with family and friends.