No Guilt Photo Organization: So many photos, so little time.

We all feel guilty that we’re behind the eight ball when it comes to organizing the family photos. All these important events we took the time to attend and record, and yet the photos languish in our digital cameras, on internet storage sites, or in envelopes and boxes. Plus, once you’ve fallen behind, it seems impossible, and embarrassing, to catch up. (It’s hard to admit you still haven’t organized wedding photos when it’s your ten-year anniversary.) One problem stems from the desire to organize photos thoughtfully and perfectly, and since there never seems to be time to dedicate to such an in-depth task, we often never get started. What can you do to take on years and years of photos, when you don’t have hours and hours to devote?

Alicia on ‘Working Backwards’

‘One big question looms over the task of organizing photos. Where do I start? Or, more precisely, when do I start? We’ve found that time tends to be an excellent filter as far as weeding out the photos you don’t really need to put in albums. (Sure, that series of pictures of your sister fitting 20 grapes in her mouth was funny 5 years ago, but maybe you only need one to remember the event.) Start with the oldest event and work to the present, making sure to leave a few spaces for any pictures that may pop up later in the process.’

Sarah on ‘Memory Lane’

‘One of the bonuses of organizing your photos after having delayed it for a while, is that it gives you a chance to take a trip down memory lane. Make it a fun family event, where each member of the family is in charge of putting pictures in order for different events. Not only will things get done much quicker, it gives everyone a chance to laugh together, shake their heads in disbelief together, and most importantly, point out the terrible choices in fashion and hairstyles together.’

Here are a few picture perfect ways to start organizing your photos.

1. Photo Boxes

Even if they’re not in albums, an easy way to start the process of organizing your photos is to create boxes for different vacations, holidays, school years, etc. As different events happen, and you get more photos, just make another box and set it aside. That way they’re at the ready when you do want to make an album.

2. Online sites

Online sites are great and easy to use. Not only does it make it easy to share photos, but you can also access pictures your friends and family took that you may have missed. It’s just as easy, however, to forget to make prints from these sites for your albums. Try to put an hour on your calendar one month from now, and take that time to go through and organize and print some of your favorites. There’s something about a printed photo that seems more special than just looking at it on a screen.

3. The Perfect Gift

When you’re in the process of putting pictures into photo albums, you always come across photos that remind you of certain friends or family that you either miss, or haven’t talked to in a while. Take this opportunity to take some pictures that otherwise may not have made it into your album and send them to someone special. Whether it’s a duplicate photo at your wedding for a bridesmaid, or an extra picture of your kids for a faraway aunt, every picture you send will bring someone an unexpected smile when they go to open their mail.

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