Photo Clean-up: 5 Easy Steps

By Maureen A. Taylor

If you find yourself surrounded by boxes of family photos, then check out my article “Address Your Mess” in the February 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine. There are five easy steps to help you organize those shoeboxes.

A few months ago, Family Tree Magazine ran a contest to find the most creative call for organizational help. Congratulations to Judy Walck. She won $250 worth of archival photo storage and preservation supplies from Hollinger Metal Edge.

Here’s her photo and the poem that accompanied it.


I have photos galore and more.
Please help. Oh, please.
they hang on every wall you see.
What a quandary.
Where to store the countless more
in boxes and bags all over my floor?
Yes, I need help and need it majorly.
I’ve photos old and photos new.
More come each day.
Some aren’t labelled who is who
A pen I need.
An eat-in kitchen is really great
’cause my dining room table no longer seats eight.
An heirloom Bible could use a box
not of plastic.
what to keep and what to cull
I’m in archival hell.
Eight generation to orderize.
It’s not Restasis bring tears to my eyes.
Can you help me, please?
I’m beggin on my knees.

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album