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  • Writer's pictureCita Sue Cox

Let's Organize All Those Color Prints That Are In Envelopes!

After your general sort, you should have all the envelopes together that your pictures came in after printing — lots of envelopes with lots of 3×5 and 4×6 color prints of all kinds.

It would be great to have those photos in some kind of order, right?  How about your prints eventually looking like this?

I realize you don’t have hours to spend and will be doing this in small steps so that’s how I’m mapping it out.

The next sort will be more detailed.  First, let’s break them down into categories.

CHRONOLOGICAL?  If you are the 2% of us who have their photos organized and labeled (yes, only 2% we are the weirdos!), you will for sure want to put them in order chronologically.  If you would like them chronological but do not have them dated, the best attempt is to do it by decades.  To help with the identifying, a big clue is just by the type of pictures themselves when the film was developed (the size, the finish), and of course by the envelopes they are in (lots of mine were in Skaggs-Alpha-Beta envelopes!).  You can even sometimes tell just by the hair-do’s and clothes!

THEME?  A good way to organize is by themes.  The themes will vary depending on what all you take pictures of.  You may have: VACATIONS, BIRTHDAYS, and HOLIDAYS.  Then for all those daily life snapshots, you may have PRE-CHILDREN, HOBBIES, CHILDREN, SCHOOL, SPORTS, PETS, FRIENDS. This is a great way to put them in order if you are thinking of doing themed-albums in the future.

At this point, you should be able to determine how many photo storage boxes you need just for the photo sets.  So…for now, get your small photo storage boxes for your small prints and go ahead and put them in the boxes in the old envelopes. Be sure to label the outside of the box with a post-it note so you won’t have to re-think it when you get ready to finalize the labeling.

As far as purchasing those storage boxes….there are many choices out there — from high-end archival boxes on-line (index divider tabs included), document boxes at The Container Store, or less expensive boxes at your local craft store (which by the way do not have index tabs included).

Even though we are not done with all the details, just having them in boxes categorized is a huge step at this point if they were all just in a bin or a box in a closet!

We’ll talk more about getting rid of the old envelopes, dividers and labeling the next time!

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