Your family photo collection is a treasure box of your personal history and legacy.Those photos stored in basements, attics, and faded albums are a testimony to all the love, laughter, and traditions that make a family. All too often, we are lulled into thinking that our photos will always be available to us and that someday we will get to the job of organizing our collections, but all too often that isn’t the case. Today we are at risk of losing our visual inheritance because people are becoming increasingly overwhelmed with their growing photo collections.
In order to take control, you need to be organized, organized, organized—and the good news is, it’s easier than you think! In this post, I’ll share my top four tips to help you bring order out of the chaos of a lifetime of printed photos. In a second post, I’ll share some tips to keep your new and improved collection organized.
1. Eat an Elephant One Bite at a Time
First, you need to collect your loose photos, negatives, slides, undeveloped film, and albums. I call this the hunt-and-gather stage. Designate a space in your home as your temporary workspace, and set up a table or desk. Put two or three large storage boxes beneath the table, and start placing everything you find into those boxes. Don’t start sorting or reminiscing while searching! If you do, you will quickly become overwhelmed. There will be time for that later. I love this statement by Creighton Abrams, “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” That is how you should view photo organizing; just take it one photo, one memory, at a time.
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