How to Organize Your Photos

organizing photos

Getting It Together

How to Organize Your Photos

We all have them, shoeboxes or bins full of old photos we will “someday” do something with. My pile consisted of:

  1. A bin full of print photos
  2. Photos on CD
  3. Framed photos I wanted to update the frames on
  4. Rolls of photos I needed to develop

Yes, you heard right, 35mm rolls of photos I needed to develop….that’s how long my bin had been there.

After 12 years, I finally decided it was time to do something with those old photos! When my first baby was born, I got into scrapbooking and I loved it. It got a little pricey after a while, so I stopped after 3 albums. Today, there are many simplified options to scrapbooking. I thought it was time to start showcasing all those baby photos of my (now) 12-year-old!

Before I can start creating fun projects with my photos, however, I first need to organize them. If you’re in the same boat, I hope this article helps motivate you to start organizing yours as well 🙂

Separate What You Have Into Piles

Go through all your photos and create separate piles for all your:

  • 4×6 and smaller print photos
  • Print photos larger than 4×6
  • Photos on CD
  • Photos on flash drives
  • Framed photos you either need to put up on your walls or update the frames on
  • Rolls of film and/or disposable cameras that need developing
  • Make a mental note of the photos you have on your computer (you’ll want to include those as well)

Depending on how many photos you have, this could potentially be a pretty big project. It took me two hours just to separate my photos into the categories above! Just take it one step at a time, you don’t have to get it all done today. Do what you can with the time you have and pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve made!

organize photos


Organizing Your Print Photos

If you’re into scrapbooking or want to create albums with your print photos, I would keep your photos organized by:

  • Person
  • Year
  • Event
  • Or occasion

So the first thing you want to do is take your pile of 4×6 and smaller print photos and separate those by year, occasion, or however you want to separate yours. I chose to separate mine by person.

A great storage solution for all those photos is a Photo Organizer Bin that will keep your print photos organized in the most compact way so it’s not taking up a lot of space in your closet, or wherever you store yours. I picked mine up at Hobby Lobby and it was priced at $17 but I used their 40% off coupon and got it for $11 🙂 You can find the one below here or if you’d like to save on shipping, visit your local Hobby Lobby.

organize photos

For all your print photos that are larger than 4×6, I would recommend storing those in manilla folders with the year or person’s name written on the tab. You can keep these file folders in a filing cabinet or a magazine organizer for easy access.

organize photos

The next thing you want to do is get all those rolls of film developed! I know it can get pricey trying to do it all at once, especially if you have a ton of rolls to develop. So I would recommend getting one roll per week developed and adding those 4×6 photos to your photo bin organizer.

Organizing Your Digital Photos

For those of you who have photos on CD, you’re going to want to upload those onto your computer and create separate files to keep them organized in. Here’s where it’s totally up to you on how you want to organize these. You can organize them by year, event, occasion, person, holiday, it’s completely up to you!

I chose to organize mine by year first, then by month, then by the occasion, then by the person (if they were the only ones in the photo). If you aren’t sure of when the photos were taken, your best bet would be to organize by the occasion or the person.

What to Do With Those Framed Photos

For those of you who have stacks of framed photos you’ve been wanting to re-frame, now’s the time to do it. Just like with the rolls of film, if getting them all done at once is too pricey, frame one new one per week. Once you’ve gotten them all framed and/or re-framed, it’s time to display those wonderful memories!

Pinterest is flooded with great ideas on how to display your photos on your walls and I even created a separate board on my Pinterest account just for these ideas. If you’d like some inspiration to get you started, you can check out my Photo Gallery Wall board here.

organize photos

How to Keep Your Photos Organized in the Future

If you want to keep your photos from piling up into a mountain of photo clutter again, the best way to stay on top of it is to organize them once a week. With the ability to have a camera at your fingertips at any moment thanks to our phones, we take massive amounts of photos every year. The easiest way to keep these from getting lost in the abyss is to organize them at the end of the week.

Not only will this help keep your photos from piling up, but it will also help keep your storage on your phone from filling up and accidentally cutting off a very special video you may be trying to take. Yup, that happened, mid-blowing out her candles! Set a reminder on your calendar for once a week to organize your photos taken that week.

Alright you guys, so now that you know how to organize your photos, the next part is the most fun part! In my next post, I’ll be showing you how I have taken my (now organized) photos and created very special Family Memory Binders that the kids love to flip through. Caution: flipping through these may cause baby fever. 😂


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