Author Topic: Going through old photos??  (Read 1451 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 517
  • Location: New England
Going through old photos??
« on: April 03, 2019, 03:49:41 PM »
We are moving soon, downsizing, and need to declutter
and simplify. We have boxes of family photos, slides, and some home videos.
We want to thin out.
It is a daunting task to go through them all and am looking for advice
and any suggestions. How do you organize your prints?
Words of wisdom?

I was starting to scan photos but after a few hours had made little
progress and was getting cross-eyed bored. 😄


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 77
Re: Going through old photos??
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 09:40:41 PM »
I'd recommend you start by clarifying your goals: what do you want to end up with?

I did this when I downsized last summer. I made a pile for each of my adult kids--not every photo I had of them, but enough for them to have a full record of infancy to adulthood--individual photos, pics with siblings and treasured friends, special occasions. I did not feel the need to give them all 12 photos taken a a birthday party-- I picked a good representative photo and tossed the rest. I gave each kid their pile and told them they were free to keep them, scan them, frame them or toss them as they saw fit, but I was done storing them.

I kept photos I loved and put them in frames or a photo album which lives on the coffee table, where family and visitors can enjoy them--people now act like it's a retro treat to handle a photo album, it's strange!

Everything else got tossed.

When my grandparents died there were boxes of slides (Tulips in Holland! Canals in Venice!) and photos of people we didn't know. Here are twelve strangers in front of a tree, with "Topanga, 1943" written on the back. Nobody knew who they were or why the photo was saved. My mother did not want to keep them and could not stand the "bad juju" of throwing them away, so we donated them and let the charity shop disperse them to the winds of eBay or the landfill.

My method worked for my goals (everyone having a record of their growth and family and happy times). Your method may need to be different if your goals or situation are different.


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 389
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Massachusetts
Re: Going through old photos??
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 08:03:28 AM »
I just finished doing this with multiple boxes of family photos. They went back 2 generations. The first thing I did with a box is toss duplicates or bad photos. Then I sorted them by who was in them. Then I put as many of person A as would fit on the flatbed scanner glass. This reduced the scanning labor. I scanned some interesting pictures of people who were too far back for me to know, but they mostly got tossed. Now I have folders by person. Glad it's over, but the results are worth it because now they are right at hand.


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 537
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Going through old photos??
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2019, 09:54:49 AM »
I would consider myself a minimalist - I hate stuff but I do love pictures.  When my parents handed down all of their prints from when we were kids we sent them to Legacybox and digitized all of the photos.  Was it cheap?  No.  Was it worth it to have these memories forever?  Yes.