Friday, March 19, 2010

12 You Asked: Precious Picture Packets

I recently received a fabulous question from one of my fabulous readers regarding storing excess kid's photos!  Here is what Crystal had to say.. or I should say, ask:

I am really enjoying your ideas!  Here's my question...what do you do with all of the pictures of your children that you do not currently have on display?  I have lots of picture packages I have bought that still have many leftover large and small pictures in them.  You can only put so many pictures out at one time.  What do you do?

First off, no matter how you store them, I recommend making a checklist of all the friends and family that you typically share your portraits with.  For example, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc... that way, you won't be as willing to over or under order when choosing package sizes, and when you receive the photos, you can cut them and put them in envelopes for your amigos on the checklist and store the rest.

When it comes to actually storing the photographs, there are a couple of easy ways to get them under control.  

1.  You could use a paper storage box large enough to hold the packet envelopes.  Once you have handed out and displayed your photos, anything remaining can be placed back into the photo envelope that they came in.  Write the date on the envelope with details of the contents, and store them within the paper box.  You could use something like this one, from IKEA:

2.  You could head to any local department or office supply store and pick up a standard 3 ring binder, or go as fancy as a scapbook.  Then, using page protectors, or scrapbook pages, insert the remaining portraits from the package.  Snag some dividers and section out the portraits by either date or type or kiddo, whichever works best for your specific situation.  Then, anytime you need to go back to them, you can just page through them, like a book and go down memory lane, or grab exactly what you were looking for and move on! 

3.  My personal favorite, because it's how I personally roll, is using a filing system.  Whether you decide to use a fancy filing cabinet, a file tote, or an expandable file {my choice}, they are all easy ways to file away your precious memories, and keep them orderly to return to in the future:

Inside, the tabs are labeled by year, and each slot contains my munchkin's extra photos from their school and sports packages:


So there you have it!  A couple of easy ways to tuck away those extra photos from the many portrait packages that build up over the years!
Thanks again for contacting me with a question!  How about you other readers?  What do you do to keep your families portraits stored away?  Anyone out there have all their kid's scrapbooks completely up to date with all of their school and sport photos?  Anyone have creative and unique ways to display the plethora of pride that we call our children?  We would love to know!



  1. Can you come to my house?

    I am trying to decorate a craft room. Is there anything on your site that covers that?

  2. I didn't see anything in the product descriptions about them being acid and lignin free boxes & storage. You'll defnitely want to use those products because other than heat they're what turns photos & other paper yellow as well as case them to fade. Most scrapbook supplies tote that as features of their products. I'm currently undergoing a MASSIVE family archive of photos going all the way back to the 1800s. and others have archival quality storage systems that come in matte black and tan but if you look into these solutions on amazon you'll see others that might be more colorful... or you could always splash them with color on the outside using that vinyl cutting machine of yours. ;) to get you started but they also have boxes with rings, binders and pages for photos to put into divided sections as well.

  3. Hi Jenn,

    Please let me know where you bought your expandable file from? I am looking for a nice one like that.


    1. Hi Alexandrea!

      I found that one at Walmart a few years ago, but I have also seen great ones at Target and the Container Store.


  4. so i realize this blog post is old, but its sunday and i am perusing all of the old posts. i found a "12-case photo storage carrier" from the container store ( it is a big container that you can put little photo cases in so you can separate by date or trip or whatever. it looks amazing. I also thought since it is clear you can cover the top in scrapbooking paper and maybe on the inside put a laminated sheet of the contents of that particular box. headed to the nearest container store this weekend to pick it up!

  5. This is a little off topic, but I am in the market of buying new backpacks and lunch boxes for the new school year and I know you always find the best products. What backpack and lunch boxes do your boys use? I think you are awesome! Thanks!

    1. I purchased each backpack for the boys from Pottery Barn Kids. I purchase them around this time of the year when they clearance them. I went with both the backpacks and lunchboxes when the boys were in Kindergarten and my oldest is still using the same one now in fifth grade, so we have absolutely gotten our money worth. They are very durable and are neutral and relevant year after year.


  6. Hi there! I just love Love love this blog and already have been inspired to change closets, toy storage and photo archives! Thanks soooo much!
    Can you tell me where you get all your precious labels? Also the label maker you use. I'm totally psyched to get organized! Also do you purchase your book end plates in bulk? They are super cute!
    Thanks in advance!

  7. This is the solution for me! I'm just did you print the year on your labels? I have a label maker, which is great, but doesn't print in the cute colors you used. Did you use a label maker? If so, would love to know make and model that prints in color. Thanks in advance!

    1. Thank you! I actually just printed the labels out on a single sheet of cardstock and then cut them down to size and slid them into the label holders.

      Hope that helps!

  8. When my oldest child had her first picture day I started an album for her, every page has the large portrait and on the side the class picture.
    When my second child started getting his picture taken I included a small one of his beside his sister's class picture and vs. I did the same with my nephews scholl pictures.
    This project took 20+ however, they now each have a great picture record of what they all look like at each particular year. It also helps setting a date to all those 100s of pictures that never made it to the albums. my children enjoy even today looking back at those pictures and find something to laugh everytime.
    Hope this serves as inspiration to some of you with yonger children, for me it was worth it.


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