Sometimes in business we find that we are our own clients. Just because I am a photo organizer does not mean my photos are perfectly sorted, organized, and backed-up. Nor does it mean that how I manage my photos is a perfect solution for my clients. However, I have found that taking these steps is a good starting place when you are ready to tackle your photos.
1. Gather all your printed photos into one place. Once you start looking for your photos you will find them in the attic, the basement, drawers, cupboards, the garage and all sorts of places you never imagined. Be sure to address the photos in the basement, garage and attic first; the temperature fluctuations will negatively affect the longevity of the photo.
2. Identify a room or a space that the photos can be stored. Do not pick your bedroom. Photos can be overwhelming and your bedroom is a place to relax. Pick a space that is away from household traffic. The goal is for you to be able to sort through your photos and not have to box them up every time you start to make progress. Some ideal locations are an extra bedroom, the dining room, or a craft room.
3. Identify a goal. If you have a goal it is much easier to stay motivated as you sort through your photos. Goal ideas: a photo book for a milestone event (a 70th birthday or a 50th wedding anniversary), a video slide show for a family reunion or a family vacation, a digital photo frame, or a collage. When you have a goal the sorting process is simplified. You can focus on your goal and set the other photos to the side. It is a good idea to write down your goal on a piece of paper and have it posted in your working space.
4. Set a timer. While sorting through the photos put on a CD and work until the CD is complete or in 30 minute intervals. Keep focused on your goal and set other photos to the side. Consider having sticky notes with you as you sort. Tag the back of photos with names, dates, or stories this will very useful when you scan the photos. Take a break if you are finding your emotions are taking a toll on you. You are looking at a lot of family history and the memories and the stories can be overwhelming.
5. Celebrate! Be sure to celebrate your accomplishments after each sorting session. You are creating a photo legacy for your family to share and enjoy, now and for many future generations. Congratulations on your commitment to share stories and build memories!