3 Easy Rules of Photo Organizing

In honor of “Save Your Photos” month, I decided to take the plunge and re-organize my digital photos.

Prior to this, my picture folders had titles like “Summer Fun 2016” and “My Best Friends”… labels that were so vague and at the time really *cute*, but now I really didn’t know what was in them! I’ve been wanting to get them better organized, so I decided to dedicate the time to do so!

This has been a challenge in the past, especially when I am creating something for a loved one. If you know me, I LOVE making things for my family and friends. I’ve made a guestbook for a friend’s wedding, photobooks for family and friends as Christmas presents, and I love SCRAPBOOKING! So I am constantly referencing photos from past and present! *I’m currently working on a few scrapbooks from our adventures in Europe!* So knowing where and how to find photos I’m looking to use, is essential!

Let me start by saying, sorting 10+ years of photos is NOT fun! It took DAYS of endless sorting and copying and pasting! (Plus a little extra time to reminisce and get caught up in the moments) But in the end, I am SO satisfied with the result!

I can quickly look into my pictures folder and find the perfect photo for my current project. Yes!!

Photo Organizing

Hopefully, you’ve been organizing your photos in a better way and don’t have this issue, but in case you’re struggling like me and want a way out, I’m sharing my 3 easy rules of photo organizing! The labeling is KEY to success here.

  1. Start each folder with the year it was taken– this will help put everything into chronological order when sorting! So everything from 2009 will be in order in my folder and I can find the pictures from college graduation.
  2. After the year, use the month NUMBER– So instead of saying 2011 May, put 2011-5 so you can again keep everything in chronological order.
  3. And last, be descriptive in the event from that date. So instead of saying “summer fun” put something like “Canyon Lake Trip” or “Kayak Adventure on Mission Lake”.

That’s it! That’s all it takes to get your photos in an organized fashion and reference ready!

This does mean you will have more folders, but it also means that you can see at a glance, where your pictures are. So if you decide to send a photo book to your parents of your past years adventures, you can easily do so!

It also makes it easier to make a silly photo collage of my friendship with a girlfriend over the past 10 years, really easy!

Summer time usually means vacations, family time, and lots of photo opportunities! What photos are you uploading and organizing currently?



Melissa Rogers, Professional Organizer

With over a decade of experience in both teaching and management, it has been essential that I perfect my organizing skill set! The management of my classroom, and even my programs that I managed, depended solely on the systems I created and my ability to TEACH those systems to others. Since the beginning, I have always LOVED to put things in order! As a kid I would pull all of my mom’s shoes out of the bottom of her closet and line them up or pull all of the towels out of the kitchen drawer and refold them to match. I found it extremely satisfying when everything was in order. Bringing order to spaces is one of my greatest joys!
  1. Erin says:

    This is a really great idea, Melissa!! I’m going to have to put this on my to-do list for sure!!

  2. Jenn says:

    I so needed this right now! Thank you Melissa!!

  3. Kasia says:

    This is a great tip. I’m behind on my photo organization. I definitely have the year and the month but the titles are still missing. There’s a lot of food pics I have so those are the hardest to organize. I’ve started organizing them by the type of food. It’s a lot of work.

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      I’m not sure what exactly you do with your food photos, but maybe consider sorting them by date and then location….like restaurant name or “food truck x”?

  4. Matt says:

    Haha, my photos are all over the place! At work, we use the year first filing system that makes so much sense. I really should apply it in my personal life, thanks for the nudge!!

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      Yes, now that I’ve done mine that way… it makes so much sense! Now I don’t waste time thinking “this happened in 2008 no maybe 2007” which was so tedious!

  5. Lisa says:

    Eek. I really need to organize my photos! Since everything is digital now, it’s just so easy to download and dump into a folder. I don’t even think about how I’ll find them again, lol. A helpful post, thanks:)

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      I know, Lisa! I was the same! Hahaha We take SO many more photos these days…it can be hard to keep up! But filing them makes it WORTH keeping them!

  6. Muhammad Ameen Sheikh says:

    These are the tips which I usually follow when creating an album 🙂

  7. Globejamun says:

    Oh wow such a great tip..All of this will be so helpful 🙁

  8. Tahnee says:

    I love some quick organisational skills! Thanks for sharing a great post

  9. Niki says:

    I am the worst person when it comes to organizing pictures! First of all, I can’t figure out which ones I need to keep and which to delete. You make it sound so easy… Care to help me by actually doing it for me? LOL!

  10. Kelly Iverson says:

    I have literally thousands of photographs that I don’t know what to do with! I always get scared to delete them off my memory card in case i lose them. This was super helpful!

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      Kelly, I totally understand your fear! I am not the most tech savvy person out there, so I know the fear! Haha But that is why I always have the photos saved in TWO places. A hard drive and maybe a cloud site or even a separate disc. My wedding photos for example, are on a separate flash drive all their own. I would be devastated if I lost those!

  11. Echoesofhervoice says:

    Great post! I now need to make myself organize my pics!

  12. Bridget C. says:

    Great tips! I did this not too long ago (80,000 photos!) It definitely makes things easier to find! This past summer I tackled organizing all the print versions too in keepsake boxes lol!

  13. Christina says:

    This is great! I thankfully have had mine organized as I take them! Transferring them to another place though is a different story! Lol

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