Tips and Tricks for Organizing Old Family Photos

Tips and Tricks for Organizing Old Family Photos

You’ll need time and patience to organize and sort old family pictures. This is because the task of doing so can be daunting most times. You may have a couple of boxes filled with old photos and picture albums of your family that you have just been looking at it and can’t throw them away. Now is a good time to sort and organize them in a proper manner.

From the point of view of experts, your goal of organizing old family photos should be to categorize, identify, minimize and store these pictures efficiently. So, you need to get started as soon as possible.

Getting started

When organizing old family photos, you need to begin with albums. Since it is an album for old family photos, it would probably be sticky even if the photos in them are still organized. The sticky pages may be a result of the covering of plastic and acidic glue strips, which can lead to photo deterioration. These kinds of albums can become bulky, taking a lot of space in your storage bins, closets, or shelves. Take out the albums if you are looking to regain the space.

You can then proceed to remove the photos from the album using dental floss. As you remove them, ensure they maintain their order of arrangement. Stack photos with not too sticky backs in chronological order. Then put labels of events, months, or years on them.

Removing the photos from the old album does not only preserve them, but it will also make the prints easier to copy, distribute, and digitally store. If you have boxes with this kind of photo or photo album, just pick one and begin to sort and organize them. The following tips will help you do so:

1. Create a workspace

A workspace is needed when trying to organize old family photos. Ensure that the space you will use has sufficient lighting. You should set up a table for this.

It is also important that you put on hand gloves and be gentle while working. Your old family photos may be very delicate and fragile. Leaving fingerprint residue on them may cause them to further deteriorate. Make use of cotton gloves every time you want to hold any of these photos.

2. Streamline your photos using the one-touch rule

As you already have a table set up for this, pour out piles of these old photos on it one set at a time. Be intentional and know where each photo you pick has to go. The content of the picture you pick should allow you to make a decision easily. Doing this will help you to streamline your old family photos. It will also enhance your efficiency in the process of organizing and preserving them.

Resist the urge to linger and reflect on the photos as you sort them out. You may get confused as to where to place a photo when you hold it for more than two seconds. You will have enough time to think about the photos later on.

3. Think about the importance of a photo before putting it in the trash

To safely keep some of your old family photos, you may choose to click digital pictures of these and share them online with your family members. You can do this if you intend to put the photo in a trash bag. It is a win situation as you still have the photo stored up in the cloud. However, you may want to mail other photos to a person that is in it. Most people would appreciate receiving old pictures of themselves that they do not have.

4. Digitizing photos

Digitizing photos

Digitizing your old family photos is another option you can take up when organizing them. You can conveniently send copies of these photos to friends and families or even toss them after you have had them scanned and digitized.

If you do not know how to scan and digitize these photos, online companies like Legacybox, ScanMyPhotos, DigMyPics, and ScanCafe can help you with the process. You can also find similar services on offer at your local office or photo store.

5. Organize and share photos using “Google Photos”

Organize and share photos using “Google Photos”

To have your old family photo well organized, you can digitize the ones that were not taken digitally. Digitizing them will allow you to have and keep them forever. Also, it is significantly easier to organize already digitized photos. Online services such as Google Photos offer unlimited storage space for high-quality images.

Services like Google Photos can help organize your photo by running facial recognition of the person on them. This makes it easy for you to select and instantly view the photos of your loved ones.

6. Back up the digitized photos

Your digitized old family pictures, if not backed up, are still vulnerable. Once you are done sorting and organizing these photos, you should have copies stored on an index card. And as stated earlier, you can create a backup on the cloud as well.

Having a backup of your digitized old family photo is the safest option as flash drives, and discs can be lost just like physical copies.

7. Rethinking storage

It is an accomplishment when you successfully get to organize your old family pictures because it is no small task. After the organization of these photos, you may choose to place them in a labeled and clean box, putting them in the closet of your basement.

There is no need to spend money on fancy and expensive storage boxes. However, it is recommended that you use boxes like shoe box-size that are easy to move around. These boxes can be used to hold a category of photos.


Although organizing your old family photos may not have a major impact on your life, it is still worth doing. Memories captured in photos must be in order. This makes it easy for it to be shared with both family and friends, and they will not be occupying much storage space. Organizing your photos will help bring back cherished memories in the years ahead. Do it today!

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