5 [31 days] what do you do with all those printed photos?

Adele says: I have a big box full of photos that I need to sort out but haven’t got a clue where to start – that doesn’t include the photos on my computer!!!

pic taken by me in Dublin, Ireland – 2008

Here is my response:

I’m all about having the FEELING of being in control as quickly as possible.

This is why when people’s email boxes are out of control I say make a folder with today’s date and drag everything in there, and then start doing things according to your new system.

How this translates to printed photos is this:

  1. Toss that big box onto a dining room table or similar.
  2. Roughly separate chronologically or by person. I would make a box for my husband’s life pre-Marcia 🙂 and then start sorting our “together” life out.
  3. Don’t get caught out by perfectionism – roughly sort into years, or time periods (university years/ high school years/ years in city X, etc).
  4. Buy a number of albums that all look the same and just start putting those photos into the albums. Don’t worry if July pics are before April – go wild 🙂
  5. Label the albums by years/ events (wedding/ Thailand holiday 2006, etc) and call it a day.

It doesn’t have to be complicated unless you want it to be.

My guess is that you’re so overwhelmed you just want to get those albums sorted once and for all.

Then let’s talk about the digital albums.

I have a coaching client (Hi M) who has a fabulous idea. She only keeps good pics digitally, prints everything and puts into albums. So that’s a couple of hundred photos a year.

We worked together at the end of last year and beginning of this year and got about 5 years of pics sorted and album-ised within about a month.

I’m so proud of her and it’s such a relief to have all her family’s memories neat, organised and in order.

I personally think since the advent of digital we don’t print enough pics.

Let’s print those pics and get them organised.

By the way, one of my favourite photographers, Kristen Duke, has just finished a fantastic series on her blog called Decorating with photos. That link is to the intro post and the individual posts are very neatly categorised on her right sidebar.

Go and get a nice mug of tea, be inspired, and then get those photos on your walls and off your hard drive 🙂

Any other words of advice for Adele?

PS This is a hot topic for me at the moment as I’ve just been through about 12 photo albums picking out pics to get scanned to jpg (I’ve paid a service to do this for me). What a mission but I don’t want to lose memories, especially of my husband’s and my grandmothers who are now deceased.

PPS Please click on the label to see all the other posts in this series.

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  1. Great tips, I love them! I’m a 100% geek – all digital type of gal, but I sometimes find myself missing the paper pictures. And I think it’s a fabulous idea to have your old pix scanned. I did that for my inlaws’ slides (starting in the 1960’s… Lots of them to scan) and they are really happy to put the disc on their DVD and watch some pix! Now my goal is to scan their pre-slide photos, from their youth and when they got married! Oh, and when you’re at it, don’t forget to double and even triple back up. As the saying goes: the question is not IF your hard drive will crash, it’s WHEN.
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  2. Hi Marcia,

    How often do u get to really open those albums?
    To have the photos sorted is one thing, to enjoy them is another matter.
    what about having ur best pix displayed as a wallpaper or better as a screensaver with random picks.

    And with printing all that many, it takes much more space…I prefer being more selective..so I dont print many, but I use my favs as bookmarkers, or display them on shelves (in bigger).

    And for the geek part, all my pix are saved on a NAS server with raid 1.

    /greetings from Paris/

    • Marcia Francois says


      Well, I can’t speak for others but our albums are easily accessible in our lounge (living room) and we LOVE looking through them (esp the holiday ones).

      I love pics on the walls, in albums, on my computer as screensavers, in a digital frame, anywhere really! LOL


  1. […] When it comes to tackling a big job — like organizing that box of photos under your bed — Marcia Francois says “I’m all about having the feeling of being in control as quickly as possible.” That means corralling the photos into stacks based on chronology or subject matter, then getting each stack into an album. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, she says — just get started and enjoy the sense of accomplishment. (Organising Queen) […]

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