There are those who collect their photos in shoe boxes (time to start labeling) and albums and those who go totally digital. They use digital cameras, store and share their photos electronically. Of course, if you’ve been collecting for over 30 years or inherited some family collections, you might have a combination of photographs in albums, photo boxes and some photographs stored digitally.
Another excellent alternative to traditional albums is scrapbooks. Scrapbooking as a hobby has become the craze for women of all ages, in all walks of life, with varying levels of skills and abilities. For those not very artistically inclined, there are various how-to sites that have easy step-by-step instructions that can walk one through this seemingly monumental task and come up with very fancy scrapbooks to make for oneself or to give away as gifts. Whatever the final outcome one desires, organization of those photos is a must. Storage could be temporary or permanent, depending on the final objective in mind.
If your photographs are tucked away in envelopes and those in turn, stacked together in shoe boxes, you may want to sort them according to your preference, either by date or events. You may have, for instance, a large number of photographs of Cousin May’s wedding, or Grandma’s 80th birthday which was in fact a family reunion of sorts and so on. These would be wonderful choices for an album or scrapbooking project.
Go through them, envelope by envelope. Weed through them, toss out photos out of focus or overexposed. Toss out those you don’t really care for and don’t serve any other purpose either. This will pare down the amount of organizing and labeling you will eventually need to do. Store these in suitable envelopes marked according to year or event.
Depending on your current level of organization you might need to get albums, photoboxes, scrapbooking material, acid-free and PVC free envelopes, acid-free photo-safe pencil or pen (available at photo processors and art-supply stores) etc.
Albums: Choose a style of album that goes with the kind of photos you would like to put in them and that go with your décor. Then get a number of them. Albums lined up six or seven of a color or style look much better than a bunch of assorted albums stashed together. Older photographs that you’ve collected or inherited should be safely stored in acid-free, archival quality environments. Albums should be stored preferably upright on shelves away from direct sunlight or humidity. The ideal temperature for albums is 65o to 70o F with a 50% relative humidity level.
Photo boxes: For temporary or permanent storage, choose good looking matched boxes that can be stacked on your shelves and add to your décor. Remove the photographs from their old envelopes, separate the negatives for separate storage. Put photographs in archival quality envelopes, label them according to year or event. Label the negatives appropriately and set aside. Once you have matched stacks of photographs and negatives, the photographs can go in photo boxes and the negatives can be stored in a fire-safe box. Even if you lose all your photographs, albums etc. your precious negatives will be safe.Tags: albums, art supply stores, label, organization, organize, organizing, photo boxes, photo processors, photos, scrapbooking, shelves, shoe boxes, storage