Wednesday, 08 July 2015 14:49

6 Steps to Organize Photos Quickly

Pack your home for your Denver move and you are likely to come across one or more photo boxes. That box is daunting because you know that going through, sorting, and packing those old photos and slides is going to take time, and lots of it.

It's never as simple as just throwing a rubber band around them, and placing them into a protected container. No, inevitably you get pulled into them and before you know it, you've spent two hours reliving old college days, or reminiscing about your first car, or reliving those summers spent at the cabin.

If you have the time for that journey, great. But if you don't and need to get on with packing, here are 5 steps to getting your photos organized relatively quickly.

6 Steps to Organize Your Photos Quickly


  • Sort the photos into piles of about 100 photos each. The easiest way to do this is to count out 100, and then just line stacks of photos up next to the first stack and when they are all relatively the same height, you have stacks that are each about 100 photos, give or take a few.
  • Decide how you want to organize the photos and make a list of the categories you choose. There's no wrong answer here. Do you want to sort them by date? By activity? By who is in the photos? It may help to consider what you want to do with the photos. Do you want to make a photo book? Stick them in a file? Send them to someone? Whatever makes sense to you, is the best way to sort them. Make a list of these categories. Then look at the list and see if there are any that can be merged, deleted or edited.
  • Take 3x5 cards and write down each category you've chosen on a separate card. Place the cards in a row on the floor or table. You're going to put your photos that correspond with each of those categories in neat stacks next to their respective 3x5 cards.
  • Set a timer and give yourself 6.5 minutes for each stack of 100 photos. That gives you about 4 seconds to look at a photo, decide which pile it goes into, and place it there. Do this while standing. You don't want to sit and do this, or it becomes too comfortable and easy to start lingering more than 4 seconds on each photo.
  • When you've got every last picture into a pile, place the 3x5 cards on top of their correlating stacks and place each stack into a plastic ziplock bag.
  • Take these ziplock bags and put them into a moving box.


Take note that if you have particularly precious heirloom photos, wash your hands before you begin and don't use any hand cream. Handle only the edges of the photos and consider using acid-free tissue paper between them.

In our next blog, we'll go over steps to digitizing your photos.