To keep my home organized and clean, I’ve been putting forth the effort to donate old items and clothes I no longer use or sell them at garage sales or on Craigslist. My goal is to keep the things I have to a minimum and hold on to the things that I truly can’t live without. I love my apartment and I love finding ways to make the space work for me, and with 600 square feet of living space, I have to be mindful of the things I hang on to.

One of my latest projects was organizing all of my old photos and albums. I haven’t picked up any of my photos in years, so it was great to reminisce and see photos of my childhood days, friends and family, vacations and momentous events. With hundreds and hundreds of photos to go through, it seemed like a daunting task at first, but I find an hour or two a couple days a week to keep it manageable.

My end goal was to have all of my photos in digital format, so I researched scanners that would fit my needs and got to work.

Here are a few tips I picked up through the process.

The biggest tip I have is to sort your photos into five or six categories. For example, I separated mine into childhood, elementary/intermediate school, high school, college, and post-college. This made it easy for me to scan my photos in order and save them into manageable folders on my hard drive. If you don’t have a scanner on hand, there’s always the option to go to your local store with a photo department. In most cases, they offer photo scanning services.

After scanning all the photos, now what do I do with them? One option was to keep my nicely organize photos in labeled photo boxes. Since I’m trying to keep things to a minimum (and as difficult as it was), I decided to keep the photos I couldn’t live without and give the rest away to friends and family or have them shredded. It helps knowing that I still have the digital format and have the option to get the images printed again if I want to display them in an album or frame.

How do you stay organized?