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September 04, 2012

Tips for Organizing Your Family Photos

If you’'ve been collecting family photos in boxes and drawers for decades, trying to bring order to that chaos can seem like a herculean task. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, go through photos a small stack at a time. Sort photos during commercials while you’'re watching television or devote the hour after lunch or dinner to sorting and reminiscing. Inviting your children or grandchildren to help is a great way to start passing down the family history. 

  1. You’ll need photo storage boxes, index cards to use as subject/date dividers and a pen.
  2. Be discriminating as you go through photos. Place aside photos you want to scrapbook or display and toss out-of-focus and unwanted pictures. If you have multiple photos of the same scene or event, only keep your favorites.
  3. Create a family history chronology by sorting photos by year and event as you go through them. Label index cards and use them to divide groups of photos. When sorting is complete, label storage boxes by date so you can find photos easily.
  4. Label photos you plan to display or scrapbook on the back with the date, event and names of the people shown. You may also want to label other select photos as you sort, particularly those that show older or distant relatives who may be unknown to younger family members.
  5. Place scrapbook photos in albums. Three-ring albums with removable picture pocket pages provide the greatest flexibility and allow you to insert sheets of paper with explanatory notes. Memo albums that provide space for photo notes are another good option. 

Don’t get overwhelmed! This is meant to be a fun project that you can work with your family on. And as you organize and discover your family history, check out the foundation behind Kendal Northern Ohio

Join us next time for tips on how to organize digital photos.

Photo by paperladyinvites.


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