How to Find Peace with Photo Organization

Myth: More is more.

Reality: I know this won’t come as a shocker, but with photographs, less IS more. Books line the stores with ways to tidy up. Millennials are driving an experience-based economy. It’s all around and there’s no denying it. There’s simply no need to keep all 67 images from that trip to Gulf Shores in 1991.  

Wouldn’t it be better to have a few standout photographs in frames and on your walls. Maybe another handful in an album? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that shoebox is gone?

Solution: Start clearing it out and organizing them now.  It’s never too late to begin.

Myth:  You’ll eventually get to that stack of photo albums sitting in the guest bedroom. The same one that’s been there since 2016.

Reality:  Out of sight, out of mind.  As you pile the boxes of mini-polaroid snapshots and Walgreens-processed doubles, ask yourself:

  • How often am I in here?

  • Does anyone else know about these boxes?

  • Do I need to move before I’ll make this happen?

Solution: One step at a time. First, do what I call the First Filter. Make two piles: Keep and Toss. (No “Maybe” pile allowed). Pass along other images or discard the rest.  You can even send a stack away to photo scanning companies to get digital copies for you and your loved ones.

Myth: You’ll have time to grab a box of photographs if the house is on fire.

Reality:  If there were a wildfire approaching, maybe. But when you smell smoke or hear the tornado siren, you move fast. The boxes are heavy. You’re panicked. In fact, the boxes are a fire hazard themselves, sitting at the foot of the attic stairs.

Solution: Grab 10 key photographs you want to keep. Put them in an archival envelope and stash them by your bed. Whew. Does this mean you can’t bring them all? Yes. Is your life more important than photos? Yes.