Picture the Perfect Way to Organize Your Photos

How to Organize Your Photos

How to Store and Organize Your Photos

by Lorraine Brock

Photographs, pictures, digital images. Whatever we call them, most of us have plenty. Some are displayed in frames on the wall, others are stored in photo albums and boxes, and some are stored on electronic devices. Our pictures create a photographic journal of where we have been and captures the memories we have enjoyed with loved ones.

If you primarily save your recent photos on digital media, you may not have many actual prints. There will come a time when you need a solution for the photos of generations past handed down to you to preserve the legacy of your family. However, the immediate photo issue for most is the organization of images on our phones, thumb drives, or our computer hard drives.

Picture a cell phone with an empty camera roll; not because you have not taken any pictures, but because they are organized and stored in a safe place. It would be reminiscent of our parents, who may have their photos neatly stored in photo boxes or albums by date or family event.

Either way, taking on photo organizing is a huge project that should be broken down into a number of small, scheduled work days. The easiest photos to organize are the most recent ones on your phone. Start with them, build momentum, and feel successful.

Listed below are my favorite solutions for digitizing, storing, and organizing both your older and current photos.

Digitizing Prints, Slides or Negatives

Lucky for us, some great new machines have been developed to tackle digitizing prints, slides, or negatives. BestSlideScannerReview.com is a list of reviews for some of the best. While this method may save you some money, it is definitely time intensive. If you decide to do the work with one of these machines, make sure you really have the time to invest, as it may turn into a multi-year project.

If you do not want to invest the time, I highly recommend ScanDigital.com. I have personally used them for my family images and they are amazing. Package up your VHS or other format home videos or photos, slides, or negatives, and mail them in. They track your items from start to finish and inform you by email every step of the way. They currently have a Groupon special which saved me $100 (4 days left as of today). The originals are mailed back in your requested digital format.

Storing Images Electronically – Cloud Storage

Once your images are digitized, the next step is protecting them with a safe storage system. Many cloud solutions give away free storage, but at some point you will need to pay for additional storage. If you are a Microsoft Office 365 user, each user gets 1 TB of OneDrive storage free with their account for up to 5 users. Even if you are not an Office 365 user, OneDrive still has the best pricing on cloud storage on the market. Keep in mind that each available solution has its own set of pros and cons. Go to PocketNow.com to see a detailed comparison of the best options.

Create Sub-Folders

Whether your photos are scanned and saved on your computer, saved to the cloud, or stored in a box or album, it is important to create an organized system so you or others can find images in the future. I suggest creating a folder each year named “Photos (Year)”. Under this folder, create sub-folders for the types of photos you tend to take, such as family, church, work, or a favorite volunteer organization. Additional sub-folders under each category will organize specific events such as a graduation under “Family”, or a cruise under “Vacations”. Divide the events of your life into folders and then keep like pictures in that particular folder. If your family celebrates many different Christmas celebrations, you might divide it out this way: “Photos (Year)”, “Family”, “Christmas”, then create more folders for each family. In my home, under “Christmas”, I would add “Brock Family”, “Morrison Family” and “My Family”. One for my side, my husband’s side, and then my own family.

Often we take pictures of people, places, or things that are just classified as interesting or cute. Create a “General” folder under “Photos (Year)” and store these special photos here.

The beauty of a camera phone or tablet is that you can organize your photos at any time. Unexpected time in carpool or at a doctor’s office can become a photo organizing session. If you do not make time for organizing photos, you will have a huge camera roll file that you have to scroll through to find your favorites.

No matter what type of organizing system you choose for your photos, I urge you to find one that will keep your memories safe. I want to leave you with a true story about saving memories from our family. My father-in-law lives out in the country and had a Windows phone set up by my husband. The settings allowed for all the photos he took to automatically upload to the camera roll on OneDrive.

One day my father-in-law was bending over his septic tank checking for possible problems and his cell phone fell out of his shirt pocket and into the tank. There was no saving the phone, and he immediately panicked about his lost photos. A few days later we reminded him that no matter where his phone was, his pictures were all safe and sound.

Capturing images as a part of family memories has become easier with better technology. There are many options to save your memories and keep them safe for future generations. Use the technology now to organize these important reminders of an amazing past you will want to relive and share.


Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.  You can connect with Get Organized! on Facebook, follow Get Organized! on Twitter and connect with Lorraine Brock on LinkedIn.



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