The Great Photo Purge Challenge: Printed Photos Week 3 Tips | From Overwhelmed to Organized: The Great Photo Purge Challenge: Printed Photos Week 3 Tips

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Great Photo Purge Challenge: Printed Photos Week 3 Tips

Welcome back to the Great Photo Purge Challenge!  If you missed any of the posts from earlier in this challenge, or want a quick refresher, here they are:

This is the final week of the Great Photo Purge Challenge!  I hope you've been able to purge the photos you wanted to purge over the last few months.

I'm changing things up a bit this week.  Normally I show you my progress on Monday and give you tips on Tuesday, but I'm reversing that order.  I didn't get day-time pictures taken of all the work I've done this week and rather than trying to deal with the flash on my camera tonight, I'll share tips with you now and then show you my progress in tomorrow's post.  Hope you don't mind :)

Steps to Organize Your Printed Photos

Here are the steps we've covered so far:

Step One:  Gather all your printed photos in one place
That brings us to the last part of the challenge:

Step Six:  Digitize your photos 

This step is completely optional.  You may not want to convert your printed photos to digital ones.

But many people have old photos from pre-digital camera days and they'd like to have them in digital format.  Here are a few reasons you may want to digitize your printed photos:
  1. To make digital photo albums (these are usually more uniform in size/shape than traditional photo albums and allow for more creativity)
  2. To have an electronic backup of all your photos in case of fire, flood, or other disaster
  3. To share your old photos online
  4. To display your old photos in a digital frame 
  5. To preserve your photos (older ones deteriorate over time)
  6. To save space (traditional photo albums take up a LOT of space!)

If you decide you want to convert your printed photos to digital, you can scan them yourself and then save them in folders on your computer (the same way you organized your digital photos).  It may take awhile depending on how many photos you are scanning.

But, if you've done a good job purging this month, you'll really notice the payoff of that hard work now!  Give yourself a pat on the back :)

If you're overwhelmed at the idea of scanning all your printed photos, just break it into manageable chunks.  Set a time limit and work quickly during that time.  Or set a goal to scan a whole album each week.  Or a year of printed photos from a photo box each month.  It's up to you.  Just work away at it and eventually you'll finish them all.

Here's a video I found on YouTube that goes over the steps you can take if you choose to scan your printed photos yourself.

Another option is to take your printed photos somewhere to have them scanned for you.  This will save you a lot of time, but you'll have to pay for that service.  There are many places out there that do this for you.  I'm not affiliated with any of the ones I mention here, nor have I ever used them.

For my U.S. readers, click the link below the photo for Walmart's photo scanning service.


In Canada, I'm not sure if Walmart has a similar service or not {nothing online about it - next time I'm at Walmart I'll check - or if any of you know if they offer this service, please comment below!}.  Blacks does photo scanning though.  Click the link below the picture for more info.


You'll have to decide based on your time and budget whether you scan your photos yourself or have them done for you.  Either way, you'll have everything in digital format when you're done!  Then you can choose how you want to use your digital images and what you want to do with your printed photos now that they've been converted.

Printed Photo Organizing Tips

Each week of the challenge, I have been sharing tips I've found online to help you purge and organize your pictures.  Here are some tips and examples of digitizing your printed photos and negatives:

  • Andrea shares how she scanned all her printed photos and then created digital photo books.
  • If you're wondering what to do with all those old negatives, here's a post by Leah with some options.
Fabulously Organized Home

  • And lastly, I came upon this blog today of one man's journey to scan all his photos and slides.  He has around 10,000 photos to scan, which seems overwhelming.  But he broke it down into a daily goal and calculated that it would take him about a year to scan them all.  You can check out his blog for all kinds of photo scanning tips and to be inspired by his progress.
Scan Your Entire Life

Your turn!

If you have lots of printed photos that you want to purge and organize, I hope you've been part of this challenge!  Just let me know you're doing by leaving a comment here, or on Facebook or Google+!  And feel free to ask any questions you have!

You can set whatever goal you want, based on your available time.  Just don't make it unrealistic or it will become overwhelming... and that's definitely not the goal here :)  Even if it takes you months, every little bit helps!

Remember, the point of this challenge is not to get rid of all our pictures. The goal is to take better care of our special pictures (by storing and displaying them in a way that we can enjoy them more).  And the best way to accomplish this is to get rid of all the pictures that we don't need or want.

Come back tomorrow for my last update post.  I'm excited to share with you what I did the last 2 weeks!

Here are all the posts in the series.

Have you scanned your printed photos?  Did you do it yourself or take them somewhere to be scanned? If you scanned them yourself, how long did it take?  

Happy organizing!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!