Thursday, May 30, 2019

Organizing 30 Years of Printed Photos

I finally decided to tackle a huge project this spring and organize all of my mom's 
family photos from the past 30 years. I brought home about 6 photo buckets full to the brim with printed photos. It was quite the task trying to sort through a little over 1,000 physical prints that span 3 decades of my parent's lives.

I set up a little folding table to work on and started the process by separating into three large categories- before I was born, after I was born and after my sister who is 10 years younger than me was born. Any photos that were blurry or redundant were discarded. I also put aside duplicates to give to my adult siblings of our childhoods.

After that separation I further divided piles into years which was painstakingly difficult and tedious. It was a lot of comparing haircuts, clothing, events, and trying to judge how old my siblings were. I have poured hours upon hours into sorting. 

Justin came up with the idea of sorting into sandwich baggies with labels. It made the process much easier as I was previously using existing paper photo envelopes. This bucket in the photo above contained everything from 1999 to 2006. After 2006 the physical prints are pretty sparse due to my family getting a digital camera that fall. Since I actually have a good chunk of the family photos after switching to digital on thumb drives, I plan to get those printed out for my mom.

I originally started filling some cheap thrift store albums before deciding to buy larger albums online. I left the prints in these small albums that were already organized as I was not in the mood to remove and redo the 400 prints that I put in them.

 I found these nice 300 photo pocket albums online and ordered 4 of them. They were about $15 a piece which for their size and quality is nice. 

The albums fits 4x6, 3x4s and 3x5s nicely,
 There is also room to write notes next to each photo pocket. I'm glad I decided to get these albums.

I also bought an 8x10 portfolio album for my mom. She had a decent amount of these professional prints made when I was quite young. The prints used to be framed but now had been stored in an old envelope for years. The portfolio is a nice way to protect and show these beautiful professional portraits.

I am almost at the end of this process and I have enjoyed looking at all the pictures from my childhood and I am so glad to have them organized in albums and no longer sitting in buckets all mixed up. So far between the small albums and the large ones I have filled about 14 separate albums. I can't even begin to explain how many hours have been spent doing this but I did start around Mother's day to give you an idea.

What are your thoughts on my project? Do you think I'm crazy for doing this? 😂

Love, Rebecca

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  1. Thank you Rebecca for all of your hard work! We really appreciate it. I don’t think I would have ever had the time to do all that you did. They would still be in buckets ��

  2. I'm inspired!

    I can't even begin to think about how many photos we have that I need to organize, put into albums, etc. I always think "I'll have time...someday!" I think I'll start by collecting all the printed photos in one place. Then the digital ones (three different computers, 2 phones and an iPod - yikes!).

    What an amazing gift for both your Mom and for your entire family! Now those photos can be enjoyed and shared.

    Thanks for sharing...and inspiring!

  3. Wow - that's a large (but fun) project! I'm sure it was great revisiting some of those memories in the photos too. :) We organized a lot of our family photos last year and it was so fun to see life before we were born!