Both digital and print photos take up a lot of space and it is so easy to mix up photos end up with a mess of pictures you’d rather shove under the bed or delete off of your computer than sort through. Sometimes just deciding how to organize your photos without spending a fortune is a bigger challenge than the actual organizing itself. Here are some of the best inexpensive ways to organize your photos.
1) Ziploc bags
This is one of our favorites. It is low-cost, protects the images, and is great because it allows anyone to write on the Ziploc with a permanent marker to show the content of the bag.
2) Hanging file folders
If you don’t have a plethora of photos, but want to keep the prints you have organized in one place, a good option is hanging file folders. Labeling your photos is easy when using hanging file folders. The Container Store has some great options.
A tried and true method for storing photos, using shoeboxes alleviates clutter and is a great way to recycle shoeboxes instead of throwing them away. Shoeboxes allow you to categorize a large amount of prints
4) Rubber bands
Separate different events or years and color-code them with an assortment of colored rubber bands.
5) Paper photo boxes
This is a step up from shoeboxes, but a cleaner, more organized appearance for storing your photos.
6) Plastic photo boxes
These cost a bit more than paper photo boxes, but the benefit here is that plastic photo boxes are specifically made to house your photos and will keep your prints from getting dusty since they’ll be in an airtight container.
7) Plastic boxes
No need to buy plastic boxes specifically designed for photos, normal plastic containers that come in an endless variety of sizes and shapes will do the trick. You might find that the different shapes of plastic boxes better suits the space you have for storing your photos.
8) Scan with a Digital Archivist – store with off-site service provider
This is probably the most effortless and effective way to store your digital photos if you’re willing to spend some money. It is well worth the investment to have a Digital Archivist come to your home to back up and categorize your photos especially in case you lose the original files.
9) Categorize on your Apple computer in iPhoto
If you are an Apple user, a great way to organize your photos is in iPhoto. iPhoto breaks down everything and allows you to organize photos by the dates they were taken, events and even uses face recognition technology to organize photos of everyone in your pictures.
10) Butcher paper with rubber bands
If you like being able to quickly sort through your prints, labeling photos with butcher paper and wrapping them with a rubber band is another great take on organizing prints.
After exploring several different ways to organize photos our experienced Digital Archivists prefer #1- Ziploc bags. It is the cheapest, quickest, most secure and most versatile method of photo organization. The other methods have their place to help you organize your photos, but they may cost more or take too much time.
Efficiency and getting to digital format quickly is our Digital Archivists top priority. The organization of the physical photos usually takes lower priority than the digital copies. Once you have them digitally, you can easily organize them on your computer.