First Steps – Divide & Conquer – Get Organized

In the very beginning intro on this series, I said I would give suggestions and MUST DOs!!! This is a MUST.

Conquer your fears! This can simply mean getting all your pictures in a safe place, surrounded by acid free materials. Acid Free refers to products that are manufactured free of acid to prevent deterioration and discoloration of papers and photos.

Divide them by year – chronologically is the best. There are great photo organizers available or you can use acid free small file pockets or folders. I know budget is important, but remember, you are dealing with something that once lost or damaged, may not be replaceable – so find what works best for your situation.

If you have photos in old plastic page photo albums…RUN, don’t walk and get them out NOW! This was me. I do enjoy the organizational side of things and when our kids were young, I would not get our film developed until I had a photo album to put them immediately into. I mean, what is the point of spending all that money developing them, if they just sit in a box, right? Well, many of them had already discolored before I learned about “Acid Free” and what that meant. They are now still organized with little file folder tabs, but… you guessed it – IN A BOX!!! Ha! How funny is that?!? Well, at least they are in decorative photo boxes and look nice (if that helps). And, they are safe and I can pull them out and use them or scan them anytime I need them and they are NOT discoloring anymore – that is what is important.

Write it down before it melts away! As you “go down memory lane” while organizing or filing your photos, write down your thoughts as they come to you and keep them with the photos. This will help you when you get around to doing a book or project.

You DON’T have to scrapbook EVERY picture you have. You WILL STILL have an archive of photos that you don’t want to discard and WILL STILL need to have a safe place for them to live, so this is why getting organized is so important. I mean, really?!?!? How many different ways can you scrapbook those 50 photos of the Grand Canyon? Actually, don’t get me started; I could probably find a way! (Maybe that will be a different “How 2” for later –I think I will call it “Scrapbooking for the Obsessive Compulsive Photographer” – My husband could co-author it without any hesitation!!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for when I talk about First Steps – Duplication and the Digital World

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