Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sorting Printed Photos

While I've been in our rental apartment I don't have too many things to organize or declutter....except we did bring along photos and files. I did a pretty good job with the files back in January. That leaves the photos to spend some time with.

I brought three black photo boxes and one larger grey photo box with larger pictures. Two of the black photo boxes are photos that are in chronological order...mostly. I know we have dug into them at times, so they may be slightly rearranged. But that is fine. I don't need  to get them perfect.

I opened the one black photo box that was full of miscellaneous photos. Some of those miscellaneous included the family Christmas card photos from others, school and graduation photos, photos other people took and then gave to me, greeting cards and CDs with photos on them.  Talk about overwhelming! The pictures cover decades of time.

My first step was to do a quick run through to see if there were duplicates, blurry pictures or any that were definitely ones I didn't want to keep. In my case there were duplicates (primarily from printing too many prints of the same thing to give away). Those were tossed. I also decided to part with most of the family Christmas photos we received. I did keep at least one of each family that I have the closest relationships with (at least for now.)

The next step was to group like photos together. Now this isn't a perfect system, but there were some obvious themes going on in this one box:

  • Christmas photos
  • Vacation photos
  • Photos of me as a child
  • My graduation from college and high school
  • Photos of my husband as a child
  • Nieces and nephew school pictures
  • Candids of our family (generally taken by someone else)
  • Photos taken by my children (these are hilarious!)
  • Prints that had at one time been on display in frames
There are probably some other categories and themes, but you get the idea. So I'm going to try to do my best to find some themes and put the photos into these themes. I'm going to try to keep them as loose as possible. One theme that would cover quite a few items may be High School (for me). I see photos of graduation, pictures with friends, and even photos of me with my husband (yes I met him in high school).

And...I finished the project before I could get more posts about it put together!

As I wrapped up this project I put the themes in a loose chronological order. For example, my baby photos are filed before high school photos of me.  Each category is separated by an index card. Not perfect sizing. And because I used the index cards vertically, I did have to put the entire stack back which was fine since the box wasn't nearly full. For now it is much, much better and that makes me happy.

I'm a bit inspired to think I could possible make photo books out of some of the categories. I'm not sure I need the photos in book form, but it is an idea of putting similar items together for easier sharing. 

Have you sorted photos before? Do you have photos you need to sort? Would you sort chronologically or by theme? Are you able to throw away blurry photos and duplicates? 


  1. It's been years since I've sorted through photos. I can easily part with blurry photos and duplicates. I still need to print more photos for the kids baby books, I'm way behind.

    1. Are you photos all in one place Sarah? As you are decluttering, if you come across any loose ones at least have a plan to put them all in one place. And of course toss if they are blurry! Photos are time consuming and a bit hard because of being sentimental. I'd put towards the bottom of your to do list. Although it can be great free entertainment to look at old photos!

    2. 90% of them are. Yes, it's definetly at the bottom of my list for now.