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Crush the Photo Clutter

By Mollee Shannon

If you’re over the age of 30, you probably have old prints stowed away in shoe boxes and old albums. Or maybe you just inherited a ton of family photos.

How can you possibly keep all these organized with minimal bulk in your storage space?
Here are some tips and tricks to keep all those photos of flared jeans, 80s hair, and 90s grunge neat and organized. 


Ditch the albums.

While albums are fun to create, they take up too much space. Removing photos from albums eliminates the bulk in your closet or storage space. Experts recommend using dental floss to remove stubborn photos from album pages. Those sticky albums and plastic coverings also have chemicals that cause photos to deteriorate over time, so removing photos from albums also helps preserve them!


Divide and conquer.

Once you’ve liberated your photos from those old, sticky album books, you’ll have a nice big pile to work with. Organizing photos can be tedious, so put on your favorite movie or TV show while you work. You’ll need to decide how to organize your photos, whether it be year by year, person by person, important life events, vacations, or a combination of those. Start placing photos in piles according to category.


Let it go.

A lot of people store their photos in the original envelopes from the photo center. Remember those? Those were the days when you pointed, clicked, and hoped for the best! So you probably have some random photos of grandma’s arm, an overexposed photo of who-knows-what, and maybe even some random scenic shot you have no recollection of. Keep a trash can nearby because you’re going to want to throw those out! You may also come across photos of what’s-his-name from high school graduation. Sometimes, you just have to make a choice between a photo of grandpa and a photo of what’s-his-name. We have faith in you!


Store in envelopes.

Storing your photos in envelopes is a great way to eliminate the bulk of albums and photo boxes. The fun part is you can easily label an envelope according to the categories you used to organize. Have fun with it! “Mom’s 70s hair” and “Dad in tracksuits” will bring some fun into the process! Okay, so maybe you’ll need ONE photo box to store your envelopes in, but hey, that’s better than ten!


Did someone say “digitize”?

As luck would have it, we can totally help with that! The best way to crush your photo clutter once and for all is to have your photos digitized. No matter how your photos are organized, they fade over time. The edges become worn, and if exposed to moisture, photos can sometimes stick to one another. Digitizing your photos is a great way to keep all your photos in one place. Whether it’s on CDs, the cloud, or a thumb drive, you can organize your photos on your computer any way you wish. Also, you can easily share photos with family and friends. With prints, you can only share when you’re together. With digitized images, you can email, share, on the cloud, or even upload to social media! Give your social media friends the gift of that absurd geometric print button down shirt you thought you couldn’t live without in 1985! 

Whatever you decide to do with your photo clutter, these strategies can help you make the process of organization super efficient! Organize with another family member, and reminisce away the afternoon. Whether you choose envelopes, digitization, or another method, you’ll have a good time reliving the people and places in those old photographs, so don’t delay. Ready, set, declutter!

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