A Solution For Getting and Keeping Your Photos Organized

Seven simple steps you can use to get your pictures organized, even if you only have 30 minutes here and there.

Kelly Brown from Heartland Paper share tips for getting and keeping your photos organized.

These steps apply to digital or printed images, so take what works for you and begin to apply it, 30 minutes at a time.

1. Envision the end result: In order to move towards a goal, you need to know what your goal is. Decide what you would like your photos to be. Do you want them all in scrapbooks or sheet protectors? Maybe you love the look of cute photo boxes lined up on a shelf. Or, perhaps you would like to have CD’s printed for your family and friends. Whatever your end result is, create a vision for it in your mind so that you know where you are headed.

2. Organizing is much easier when you have the right tools: Invest the time and money to obtain the right storage option for you. If you have printed photographs, you may want binders and sheet protectors, or photo boxes. If you are working with mainly digital photos, you may want to invest in a good photo storage and editing program. We are all more motivated to organize when we have a cute little package to organize in.

3. Develop a system: Decide what organizational system makes sense to you. For some people, organizing photos by year makes sense, for some, organizing by child or event works better. The great news is, they are your photos, so there are no rules to live by. Just determine what works for you and apply it to your photos. Whatever system you choose, create a labeling technique that coordinates. Once photos are organized, labels will make finding what you need a breeze.

4. Take a big breath and then get started: The first step is always the hardest, but you will never get to your goal until you start. Take your organizing one box or one folder at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by the mass, focus on a small bit and work through it.

5. Start current and work your way backwards through time: That photo of mom from 1982 isn’t going anywhere, so start with the photos that are the freshest in your mind and work your way back. You will find that this technique is far less intimidating than starting from the beginning and thinking… I am only in the 80’s! As you take new photos, organize and label them immediately so that they don’t add to your unorganized pile.

6. Purge: Depending on our photographic skills, we can usually eliminate a large percentage of our photo stress just by purging bad photos. Consider how many photos you have in your files that are blurry, taken with bad composition, duplicates(possibly taken from slightly different angles), or meaningless. When deciding whether a photo is “purge worthy” ask yourself if you or anyone else would get some real value from seeing the picture. If you have the same shot, taken from six different angles, decide which one is the most pleasing and purge the others.

If you are in the group of people that have a hard time throwing away a photo, no matter how bad it is, consider creating a “Bad Photo Box” where you toss all of your blurry, unbalanced and duplicate photos. Then, one day when you are feeling daring, throw the box away or delete the file!

7. Create a back up: In the age of digital photography, it is very common to lose precious photos. Be sure that once you have organized your photos, you create a hard back up for them. CD’s or jump drives work great. You can also create a back up of your printed photos by having them scanned and made into CD’s. Remember to label disks so that it is easy to find what you are looking for.

Heartland Paper has two locations for your scrapbook shopping needs:


616 West 2600 South

(801) 294-7166


Monday: 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Tuesday – Saturday: 10 A.M. to 8 P.M.

Closed Sunday


5794 South Redwood Road

(801) 963-6101


Monday: 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Tuesday – Thursday: 10 A.M. to 8 P.M.

Friday: 10 A.M. to 9 P.M.

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