How to you organize older photos/ digital prints?

Before the age of Smartphones and digital (now cloud) storage, we would take photos with a camera and then go and have the photos developed. You may have lots of these photos lying around at home.

Wondering what you want to do with them?

Take time to organize old photos

If you have a lot of older photos, the feeling you get when these photos are strewn all over in a used shoebox, stuffed in drawers …..OR inserted nicely in photo albums ….OR made into scrapbooks with journals and notes are very DIFFERENT.

One night when I was 10 or 11 years old and missing my mom badly (she was away to work on night shift), I went her wardrobe and drawers and took out all the older photos of her and our family that I could find. These photos were slashed under linings of her clothing cupboard, and in envelopes and slipped in between drawers.

I spread out all the photos on the floor and then took out 2 empty albums that I knew was lying around the house. Basically I knew where she kept her stuff ….we did not have games or electronics to play like today hence I have a lot of time exploring stuff around the house.

I categorized these photos to the best of my ability (still very young then) and then slot them nicely in photos albums….where I felt they belonged.

Old photos in photo albums

After the photos were arranged, the photos looked like they got a new home, no longer put all over the place.

The one downside about using stick on pages in photo albums is that after some time, the photos would stick on to the album and makes it difficult to remove. It would literally get stuck on the page- and removing it could sometimes damage the photos.

I prefer to keep these photos in physical albums rather than to declutter and digitalize all the photos. There is something about holding a physical photo album and flipping through the pages. You would not be able to get the same feeling of nostalgia if you were to swipe over the photos on your iPad.

My mom’s memory is fading and when I showed the photographs, she could not believe that she used to look like the ones in the photo. It brought out the smile in her face. And for a while, she was always browsing through the older photo albums.

Old photos in photo albums

However, if you wish to have these photos to look at when you are travelling or away from home, then it makes sense to also digitalise them (while keeping the physical albums at home) so that it is easier to take with you.


Scrapbooking further add notes, memorablia items to the photos. My best friend used to collect little items whenever she is travelling with her family or her then boyfriend. Things like a fallen autumn leaf (we do not have autumn season here), a bus ticket, plane ticket, a receipt from a cozy coffee shop and a cute card…. she would combine these together with printed photos and make something similar to a scrapbook.

She did that when she give birth her babies (she has three kids now). However with time, her career got more busy and she seldom have the time to scrapbooking. Still, everyone enjoyed looking at her photo albums.

I want to end this post with a snippet from a useful book that I have read.  In the book “Absolutely Organized, a mom’s guide to a no stress schedule and clutter free home”, the author Debbie Lillard mentioned a funny thing about photos in Chapter 6:

“I once heard this tale at a Creative Memory scrapbooking demonstration. There was a family that cleaned out the parents attic and fought over who would take the boxes of crumbled up and yellowed photos. No one wanted them!

Another family also cleaned out the parents’ attic. This mother had meticulously put pictures in an album and wrote notes next to each one. This family also fought over who would take the old photo albums- they all wanted to take them!”

If you want to enjoy your photographs, you have to do something with them!

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