Methods to Organizing Your Photograph Collection

by Grace Brooke

Grace Brooke's Tips to Organizing Your Photo Collection

Going through years of photographs to finally get them organized can be a daunting task.  Organizing your collection will make accessing certain photographs and memories much easier.

Here are my tips for organizing your print photos (keep it simple!):

There are a few different storage options…

  • Shoe boxes: A cheap, easy way to store your photographs. Make the boxes more attractive by covering them in some of your favorite wrapping paper.
  • Plastic boxes: A great option to prevent from water damage.
  • Paper boxes: The Container Store, IKEA, Target, and certain craft stores carry attractive  paper boxes that you can use to organize your photographs that will be a nice decorating touch.

Organize based on…

  • Date: Organize based on a certain time period, i.e. 1997-1998.
  • Events: Dedicate a box to certain events such as Birthdays.
  • Person: Organize based on the person in the photo, i.e. “Jenny” and include all photographs of Jenny.

Within the box, use dividers based on…

  • If you decide to organize by date, use dividers to create sections of events during that time period.
  • If you decide to organize based on event, use dividers to organize by year or time period.
  • If you decide to organize by person, use dividers to create sections for certain events and/or dates.

You might ask, “Where do I get dividers for organizing my photos? What do they look like?”

You can use the alphabetical dividers that are made for index card boxes. These can be found at an office supply or stationary store.   If you cannot find them, make your own out of card stock or over sized index cards. Turn the alphabetical divider over (it’s blank on the other side) and write my headings/categories on the tab in pencil.

I always use pencil in case I need to move and combine a few categories.  You can also re-use the divider once you have actually put the organized photos into albums or scrapbooks.

I am also a fan of the Post-It Durable Filing Tabs. They work perfectly for all my divider/tab needs!


  • Label the front of your box accordingly…and voila!



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