Where to Start (Part 2) – Piles of Pics

This post is continuation on the subject of organizing photos (if your photos are all digital check out these ideas)


Do you have piles of physical pictures?

Are they all in one place or scattered in different rooms, boxes, drawers?

Or – are they stuck in those old ‘magnetic’ sticky albums?

No worries – you can manage all of these as well.

Let’s start with the scattered pictures.  The easiest thing to do – is to spend some time gathering all of those photos into a single location.  At this point, don’t worry about who/what/when – just get them all to the same place.  I hate when I do a job, feel the satisfaction of completion, only to find out I missed something off in an obscure corner somewhere!  How you accomplish this is up to you – spend a day going from room to room – spend a day in each room – whatever works best with your schedule & patience (or frustration) level.

You have everything in one place… now what?  Now that you have all your photos together, they may seem quite overwhelming.  So, before you jump in, come up with a plan.  Do you want to use your photos in scrapbooks?  Do you want to tell your stories chronologically or by theme?  Do you just want to have your pictures organized and stored?

Sorting Containers – get yourself some containers to sort your pictures into – these don’t have to be fancy photo storage boxes – just something big enough that you can toss your pictures into.  Get enough containers to meet the categories you want to sort into.

Here are some category ideas:

Chronological – decade, year, place you lived (this is me – my brain just thinks by time)

Themed – family member, holidays, vacations/trips, school, church, scouts… (check out Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories for additional ideas)

Set a Time & Start Sorting!  The task of sorting through all these photos probably seems daunting.  But, you know the old saying… how do you eat an elephant?  With a timer, of course!  Set a timer for 10 – 15 – 30 minutes – whatever works into your schedule, and get to work.  Try not to get caught up into ‘looking’ at the pictures & reminiscing – or you’ll spend your alloted time down memory lane!

Once you have everything sorted into the boxes, you can go back and re-organize into a more logical (for you) sequence.

If you’re spending large time blocks – don’t forget to take breaks, stretch, etc.  Also – think about how much space the sorting will take – try to find an area where you can leave things and come back to them.  If you’re in the middle of sorting and need to clear everything off the kitchen table to eat dinner – you’re liable to get frustrated & leave everything packed up.  Where as, if you can leave things out – you can spend a few extra minutes as you have the time without disrupting your flow of life.

Magnetic Sticky Albums – if you’re like me, your earliest ‘scrapbooking’ may have been in those sticky albums with the plastic cover sheets.  These have been determined to deteriorate your photos, so – you’ll want to get your pictures out and into storage boxes or scanned into digital format.  You can see in the pictures below how the pages have yellowed…

Use caution, however, because sometimes the pages just don’t want to let go.  Some things that help with this –


Dental floss – slide a piece of dental floss behind the picture and use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss completely behind the picture, breaking the bond of the glue.  If this needs a little extra help – you can use a hair dryer on warm.  Direct the air flow between the picture and the page in a sweeping motion.



Un-Do – this stuff is absolutely amazing!  I use it all the time for my scrapping boo-boos!  Just place the attached spatula beneath the picture and apply a small amount of the liquid to the photo.  The bond will be broken & your picture will be unharmed (just let the Un-do dry) – make sure you are using this in a well ventilated area!

What’s next – once you have all your photos unstuck from those magnetic albums or sorted into categories – you’ll want to store them until you’re ready to use.  There are plenty of photo organization boxes, but I would suggest ones which are acid free and not clear – light is not photo-friendly!

My next few posts will include layouts & cards, but I’ll be back to talk about scrapbooking in a few weeks!  Until then, happy sorting!





2 thoughts on “Where to Start (Part 2) – Piles of Pics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s