dismantling all of my photo albums to save space, am I crazy?

jerseygirl07067January 22, 2013

I have a ton of photo albums from the past 20 years (mostly pre-kids, back college days,and those wild and crazy single days, lol) I now have 3 small children, and have decided to convert my office into a 3rd bedroom. The albums take up so much space, and I'm thinking of dismantling them all, as they literally take up a full bookcase, which I need to get rid of, for her bedroom. A lot are in those magnetic albums, which, I have learned, are not good for pictures anyway.

I have thought of using photoboxes, or one of those plastic boxes where you can index pictures in smaller little boxes and store them. One box holds 1000 photos. I could honestly get all of my albums in one of these and have so much more space.

Will I regret this? I mean, I have somehow managed to put my pics in albums throughout my life, but the albums are so bulky. I even went to my 25th college reunion last year and didn't bring the albums because they were so bulky to fly with, but my friend just brought all of hers in a photobox and we had so much fun looking at them.

I definitely don't want to put them on my computer or scan them, I love having the actual pics. As much as I love technology, I guess I'm a dinosaur when it comes to pictures, lol.

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I say "Go for it." A few years ago, I condensed my pics down to fewer albums. Threw out a bunch as I went and heavily cropped others. Now the albums match and I think my grown kids will be more likely to look at them someday. Freed up lots of room on my shelves, too.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:28AM
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I too encourage you to do it. I put all my photos in a photo box, and used the blank index cards. 'family', 'friends', 'Christmas', 'vacation'....you get the drift. That way when I want to go to see my cousin Martha's picture when she went to Disneyland with us I can avoid having to go through rhe whole box.

I threw out pictures of poor quality, and there sure were a lot of those. Thank goodness for digital!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:47AM
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The only thing you might lose is any info about who was in the pic or what was going on.

So if you have that info, it might be smart to transfer it to the back of the photos. I'm pretty sure there are pens for that.

And think of this: once you get sort of set up with that, you can keep using it. you can have a box for pics you want to give to Kid #1, #2, #3, etc. And a box for you.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 12:37AM
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My entire upstairs linnen closet is photo albums and I hate it. I have a fantasy of scanning them all and getting rid of the hard copies. I have always loved pictures and taken a lot. Now I am 100% digital but the first 40 years of my life meant rolls of pictures and albums. Most of them are of my exhusband and me. We met when we were 17 and 18 so most if my life was spent with him. I really don't like the energy of those pictures hanging around my house but I can't bring myself to just throw them away.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 9:16PM
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great idea to do the boxes who looks at the albums anyway? I'm more inclined to take abox down and look. let us know how you did

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 6:31PM
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I took all of my old albums and put them in new albums and they take up less the 1/4 of the old magnetic ones. I do have a photo box for the ones that never got put in the albums or were out of order.

I did throw away pics of people that I really haven't seen in more years then I want to remember and peoples kids that I haven't seen since they were young kids.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 10:18PM
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When my Mother passed away and I inherited boxes of old photos, clippings, announcements photo albums of many sizes etc. etc. etc.....I spent most of one year re-organizing and putting stuff in albums of uniform size and archival quality....the timing was right for it to happen. Even postcards were put their own (plastic pocketed) album. I organized by year, cropped and pretty much made 'collage' pages....many photo's telling a 'story in photos' with few captions on only a few pages. I typed into a computer program all of the details I could gather about ancestors from obits etc.and sealed those clippings into album pages as well. It DID take a year, and my large dining room table was like an ocean as I got it cleaned up from one year/era before the next came rushing in. I still have one photo box with 'worthwhile' but unidentified photo's and duplicates, if any family members ever want to check them out; and one box of negatives identified mostly as they were saved by the photographer. Meanwhile, the very large 12x12 albums ARE looked at frequently and different 'times/people' are found easily.

A couple of summers ago, youngest grandaughter made the observation that there were no photos of her in the albums (age 13), so this winter I did spend some time bringing the "Family Albums" more up to date. Digital is fine, but we do miss gathering around he 'albums' checking out the parents etc. and it is a still to be done chore to get some digitals printed.

We are about to visit 38 year old grandson who has just had his first baby, and meet his new wife and 2 children. I will be taking ONE album.... the time period when he lived with us during his baby/toddler years. I expect it will be fun to show him off to his new family.... and then the rest of US when they come here to visit.

I also made seperate albums for each of my 3 children... taking many photos 40 miles into town to scan. Today I have my own scanner and printer, so that should make putting albums together really easy. Still a work in progress, as each of the families continue to grow.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Jersey girl, you can buy archieval quality sleeves to fit photos of various sizes. They are slightly bigger than letter size and you can get boxes, too. That is what we are doing. The photo boxes are not good for the photos.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:23PM
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I'd do it, too. And I'd scan the pictures as I did it, though I'm not sure if you want to go to that trouble.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I went through all of mine and sorted them for my kids. I gave each child pictures of him with me or his dad or just him. The ones of just us in it, I divided them so each child would have photos of their Dad and I. Then I sent them to them with their baby things. Pictures I had taken of other family and friends I sent to them. I have not regretted it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:11AM
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jerseygirl, I'm wondering what your decision was?
Did you dismantle the heavy albums?

Years ago, I did in-home care for a couple in their 80's. The husband had Alzheimers, the wife spent her time coping. On their coffee table were two attractive 11x14 boxes. One had personal letters, love letters, postcards from friends, letters from their now-very-grown children written when they were in college, etc. The other had a jumble of photos, all labeled on the back as to when and who was who.

When I saw how poignant, immediate and available everything was, I went home and did just what you are thinking of doing.

I dismantled all the photo albums, tossed a bunch of pictures and labeled everything I kept, but was careful to keep a detailed, notated chronological album of negatives. I sent each of my kids copies of those pictures that would matter to them most.

Now, like that couple I was so fond of, I have a box on my table of photos that anyone can peruse. To me, the out of order nature of the collection is more interesting and provocative than a row of tidy but uninviting, heavy books. I admit, though, I haven't had the nerve to put out any love letters! ;-)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 9:50PM
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I am back and wondering too. And I have since January put the 14 years of photo's into pages and I wonder if I made it clear that many photo's are tossed, and cropped before putting into pages. It is quite amazing how many photo's you can put on a page when you crop away lots of extraneous background. I do wonder, tho..... how are 'we' going to handle those elegant 'scrapbooking' pages that some spend many hours and time creating. You know... one photo and lots of glitz/decor. I don't have the space in my downsized home.... and am glad I did not go that route.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:40PM
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