As we work through the task of sorting photos, you will be faced with the challenge of what to do with the photos you don’t want anymore.  Should you throw out old photos? It’s much easier to make those decisions when you are dealing with photos that you took and own. However, I have been working with my heritage photos the past few weeks and many of these photos date back to the early 1900’s. As I finish the sorting process, I am left with a small collection of photos that have no meaning to me that won’t be staying with my collection.

But now I’m left with a difficult decision that I don’t want to make lightly. My Grandma came through the depression, was a wartime bride and they raised their family in a small, war-time home on meager means. The photos she took and developed would have been carefully planned out and budgeted.

Do I throw these meaningless photos out?

I decided to seek out the advice of an expert; a photo organizer who specializes in this area.

Professional Genealogist, Deena Coutant, of DigiDeena Consulting had this to say…

“It is inevitable that we or our heirs may eventually arrive at a decision point where we have to downsize our photo collections.  Just because we cannot keep all of the heritage photos doesn’t mean they must automatically be discarded.  There are many viable options to donate or transfer ownership of groupings of photos that have historical or social relevance.  Whether donating to a repository or posting digital copies of the photos online, there are numerous ways to make the photos accessible to others who may value them, while at the same time removing the burden to care for the collections ourselves.”

She also shared 10 possible solutions for me to consider that you can read more about in her blog post Photo Overflow.

I had no idea there were so many resources for re-purposing our old photos, and I’m so glad I asked. I have a solution {see #6 in Deena’s suggestions} and I’m ready to check my heritage photos off my list!

What about you? Will you be tossing those old photos or can you re-purpose them?

If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos, and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.

Lisa Kurtz, Association of Personal Photo Organizers
When Lisa Kurtz lost her mother, grandmother, aunt, and uncle in three years, she was left holding a box of unidentified photographs with nobody to ask about them. Lisa embarked on a lifelong quest to discover and preserve her mom’s story, for herself and her kids, which led her to a career in professional photo organizing. Today, Lisa is the Founder of Pix & TALES with her daughter and together they help busy moms manage their pictures and tell their family stories.