How to Organize and Manage Pictures | Part 5

How are you doing? Have you been able to create some folders for your photo storage?

Listen, I know the problem with many of us is the fact that we are so. far. behind. My best advice to all of you in that boat is to just start small. Start with today’s pictures and set yourself up with a plan for tomorrow. For your past pictures, I simply suggest making a “2018 Keepers” folder, and then going through a bite sized chunk of your SD cards or overloaded hard drive at a time. Export or copy the keepers into that folder and delete the rest. Then, bite off another chunk until you get the whole year completed. Once you’ve done that, move on to the next year and work in little sections. The only way to eat an elephant, right?

Today we talk printing!

What good are your pictures if they just sit around in an non-developed state, living on your computer hard drive in a tucked away folder for all of eternity? This is like keeping drawers full of negatives from 1995 and never printing the pictures. No one is enjoying your nicely organized folders of digitals.

There are several things I do with my pictures. You will probably look at this list and call it complete overkill. That’s fine. Do what works for you. Decide for yourself how you enjoy looking at pictures. Do you like to take a stack of photographs in your hands and flip through them old school style? Do you enjoy turning the pages of a photo album or photo book?

I kept photos in albums for years. It’s what my parents did, so it’s what I started doing. Then we started buying a few photo boxes and using those when the photo accumulation got to be excessive. I have a cabinet full of photo albums and 2 boxes full of old prints of my childhood.

Then, I started printing photo books. I liked how I could fit a lot more pictures into a lot smaller space (Who has space for several photo album cabinets?) I printed a big stack of these for years until my dad died. That’s when I realized I missed the actual prints as I discussed here. However, I still enjoyed the photo books and my kids really enjoyed them.

Now, I continue to make the photo books but also print pictures of my kids and put them in a box- one for each of them.

Finally, I print a Chatbooks album with the best of the best pictures of the year for the kids, making 2 identical copies, and give it to them at Christmas. They love and look forward to this gift.

That’s a lot. I know that. You might be happy with just one of these options, and you should be totally fine with that. I’m a little extra in this department and that’s fine with me! Let’s take a look at each item.

Photo Boxes

Like I spoke of here, I use FreePrints. When I get my next 80 free prints, I print the best ones of my kids, any of them together, and any of the whole family or of special family members INCLUDING MY HUSBAND AND I. I am not ignorant to the fact that all of you dislike pictures of yourself. I don’t love looking at myself in a picture, either. Not to be morbid again, but they are going to treasure these one day. Any other photograph I think they might want, I print. You can print an double for something like 6 cents, so I print a couple of each if I think each boy would want it.

Then, when I get them delivered, I separate them into a Ben and a Rocco stack, and I try to put them more or less in order. They have dates on the back, which helps. After that, I write a quick little note on the back, usually who is in the picture, their age and a certain memory if called for. Because I have inherited pictures upon losing my dad and grandparents, I am realizing that I have no way of finding out who the people are in those photos. I do this while I watch TV some nights. I take TONS of pictures. I don’t think you guys will have as many, so this shouldn’t take a lot of time.

Little dividers are in the box, and I separate them by year. I just started this when my dad died, and I have no plans to print the kids’ previous years of life. It’s just something I am starting to do now for them. Something is better than nothing. I’ll eventually pass these boxes on to them when they leave our home so they can have their own copies.

Photo Books

If the photo boxes are for my kids, the photo books are for me. Again, I like these because I can fit a lot of pictures in one space-saving book.

To stay on top of this task, I use Blurb. They have a book making software that you download to your computer called Book Wright. Just about once a month, I upload pictures from my organized folders on my hard drive to my current Blurb book. Then, I organize the pictures inside the book. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time with the organization of the book, they will place your photos for you. I keep adding pages until I get to the neighborhood of 100, and then I let my book sit there until I see a 40% off coupon come in my email. Order, and enjoy!


At the end of the year, I put my very favorite pictures of the boys, alone, together, with their friends and family, and other important memories from the year in a Chatbook. I add pages to this based on my budget and how many I can edit. Sometimes I just want to add them all! (Cuties.) I order 2 identical books and wrap them for Christmas every year. The boys love them and are often found flipping through them.

You could make a 13th folder in your 2019 folder called “Favorites” or something and add the best pictures to the folder as you upload each month or so, making this task super easy at the end of the year.

Fancy Albums

When I have a big photo session of my family done, I usually spend a little more dough and purchase a really fancy album. These are the super-special. I order these from a professional vendor for photographers only, so if you have any pictures that fall into the extremely important category, let me know and I can help you with that.

Next time, I’ll have a checklist for you to keep you organized throughout the year. Get printing! Enjoy those memories.