If you’re like most people, you’ve got a box full of photos lying somewhere in your house. It’s probably a while since you last had a look at them and they’re now a disorganized mess. You need to take steps in decluttering the box.
Most of the photos in your storage box may have been processed before the digital age. If that’s the case, there are better and more modern ways of preserving them without taking up too much space. Here are some quick steps you can use to organize them.
Decide Your Goal
Before you start decluttering, you need to decide why you need to sort them out. Do you want to preserve them for future generations, or is the goal to create a celebratory slideshow? Or do you want to arrange them in an easy-to-retrieve manner for the sake of memories?
Whatever the goal is, it’ll help you prioritize the most outstanding photos. Give it a thought in advance, and the process of decluttering will be a lot easier.
Gather All Photos to a Central Location
It’s highly likely that you have more than one storage box for your photos. Others may be lying around elsewhere like in plastic bags, drawers, closets, wallets, scrapbooks, and jewelry boxes. Bring them all together to begin the sorting out process.
Once you’ve gathered them, you’ll have a large pile to sort. This tells you that you might not complete the task in one sitting but may take several days.
Gather Your Tools
In this digital age, there are several tools you can use to preserve your photos. For example, do you have a scanner? You could scan all your photos for storage on online photo albums. If you don’t have a scanner, consider seeking professional scanning services to have the images scanned.
Once the photos are digital, you can sort them chronologically and create different albums for different images. For example, graduation, family, birthday, fun day, newborn or grandparent’s photos could all have their separate albums.
For photos that you don’t want to digitalize, arm yourself with photo-safe storage boxes. They should be of archival quality, which means they should be acid and lignin-free. This will help protect all the loose pictures you want to store from damage caused by light.
Older photo albums also contain chemicals that aren’t safe for photos. Avoid using plastic storage containers as they can trap moisture which can damage your photos.
Other tools you’ll need are photo-safe pencils for indicating dates and other details at the back of the photos. Dental floss also comes in handy for helping you remove pictures from old magnetic albums. If you have cotton gloves, make use of them when handling the photos to avoid leaving your fingerprints on them.
Save Only the Gems
As you sort out the photos, remember that the aim is to declutter your photo storage box. You won’t have done yourself much favor if all the old photos, including those you scanned, end up in the box again. This is where you need to decide which photos mean the world to you and which one you can let go.
You’ll realize that some of them don’t hold any special memories. These you can decide to destroy.
Photos hold with them special memories for the owners. However, sometimes they can accumulate too much, leaving you without enough storage space. If your photo storage box is cluttered, it’s time to declutter it.
One way to do this is to digitize the photos. Have them scanned and store them online. Cloud storage is the safest option against loss and damage. For the copies that you feel you can do away with, be sure to destroy them after digitizing them.