What’s the right way to store photo prints?

Prints, prints everywhere….

Most people have a collection of photos – now both printed and digital – that they don’t know what to do with.  With prints, it’s critical to store them in a dry, cool place away from excessive heat and moisture.  Gather your prints into one place and purge, purge, purge!  Throw out the blurry, cut off and simply bad photos. Also, did you find duplicates or ones you want to share?  Send them with a card or take a photo and share it today.  With the remaining photos, do a simple sort of “heritage” photos including your family of origin and put in large manila envelopes.  Then use smaller envelopes to hold photos of childhood, school, family etc. in whatever categories that make sense to you.  For this simple sort, use broad categories and don’t get bogged down in specifics – this can be very time consuming!  For present day and more recent photos, use another large manila envelope and organize by event, person or year.   Most of all, this project is a “quick sort” that will give you basic categories to work with.

What about my old albums?

If you have photos in the old style albums with sticky pages and plastic covers, remove them immediately.  Because the glue on these pages is highly acidic, it is eating away at your photos which is why they appear yellowed.  Do another sort with these photos and put them into the categories you used before.  Then save only the best photos and let go of the rest.  The reality is that you will never use ALL of the photos you have.  Keep the best and get rid of the rest.  Use this same process for photos in frames no longer on display.  Junk the broken and mismatched frames and save the good and meaningful photos.

Once you have all of your photos together, store them in a plastic tub or box to protect them.  Ultimately, you have many options on what to do with print photos.  Prints can be scanned to digital, put into photo albums and added to frames but that’s a project for another day….