Without fail there is one category of downsizing that never fails to overwhelm my clients; sorting photos. Honestly, is there anything more time-consuming or overwhelming than a lifetime of photos? Frequently I suggest to my clients who are moving to “bite the bullet and box them up to move” because of the sheer number of hours it takes to sort them.
If you are not ready to downsize or have already downsized but still have a vast collection of photos, I’ll outline some of my favorite strategies to organize and minimize your photos.
Tips for Organizing Photos
- Start by sorting into piles. For my own vast collection of photos, I chose to separate them by family members. For example, I made a pile for myself/my husband, one for each child, one for each grandparent, etc. The goal here is to create piles for your loved ones to take to their own homes. For each child, I included pictures not only of themselves but also family shots, funny pictures of siblings, etc.
- As you are sorting, purge the pictures that are duplicates, fuzzy, faded, or just not flattering!!! Sometimes photos contain people you can no longer remember or would rather not remember! Most of my clients find they can easily eliminate one-half to two-thirds of their photos easily during this sorting process.
- Choose your method of storage. I prefer photo boxes to photo albums as they take up less room in my small home. I also like the easy identification tabs that allow me to file my photos by person and/or by event (Grandma’s 90th, Pat’s graduation, etc).
- Decide if you are ready to part with the photos you have designated by person. Are you ready to hand over each child’s photos to them? If so, put the edited assortment in a box or album and give it to each child with a heartfelt note.
Although sorting photos is a laborious process, it is also a wonderful opportunity to reminisce about your life and the lives of those you love.