Family Pictures: How To Organise And Preserve Them Without Breaking The Bank

Family pictures are wonderful snapshots of your life. Looking through them can bring back so many memories, so it’s important to keep them preserved, and organised. So many of us have dozens, or hundreds of photos stuffed into cupboards, drawers or boxes, but they may not be in the best condition if they’re left there for years.


family photos


Why Are Family Pictures Important

The technology used for taking and printing photos has changed so much over the last few decades. If you consider that 1950s photos tend to turn red if they aren’t appropriately stored, and that 1970s photos turn yellow, it should show how important photo storage is.


If you’re looking to create a family photo collection for your children to have for future lifetimes, the first thing you need to do is find a quality printing service. Stick within your budget but look for the best service and highest quality prints that you can afford.


You’ll probably want to have your family pictures organised, so another important step is to consider which pictures to print. We’ve all got hundreds and thousands of digital photos, but how many of them are worth printing? Take the time to go through your photos, and only choose the best of the best to print out. Another thing to consider is are you in the pictures? If you’ve got a picture of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, or the London Eye, but nobody in your family is in the picture, then it’s probably best to leave those as digital pictures. Photos that feature you and your family may feel more worthwhile.


Storing And Organising Printed Family Pictures

When you have curated and printed your family pictures, you’ll want to store and organise them.


Photo Box Or Photo Album

The choice between a photo box and a photo album is entirely up to you. The things that are important are the materials that they’re made from. You should store your family pictures in a storage option that is acid-free and lignin-free. You should also avoid any dyed or recycled materials. Look for something that has archival quality. Some people recommend using clear plastic boxes, but archival experts say that we don’t know how plastic affects photos over long periods of time. If you have photos that have already seen some damage, experts recommend using a Mylar sleeve to give a little more protection.


Index Card

It’s a good idea to include an index card for your family pictures. You’ll know who everyone in the snaps is, but your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren may not. Include notes on who everyone is, what the event was, and where you were so future generations will have information and context for the picture.

Many people write this information on the back of a photo, but that’s not always a good idea as you may end up damaging the photo. Using index cards helps to keep your pictures safe, which is why you should try to find cards that are acid and lignin free.


Use A Pencil

Pencils are more long-lasting than pens, so always choose a pencil to write your index cards. Pen ink fades with time and could become illegible. Pencil is much more likely to remain so that your family are able to read the information.



The last thing you need to think about is where exactly you plan to store your family pictures. The best place for photo storage is somewhere climate controlled. This means that they will do better if they’re kept in your living space, and not in the attic or storage shed. Some experts recommend an upstairs cupboard where they will be stored at a consistent temperature and protected from sunlight.