I went to a grade school where we wore uniforms…really ugly black and blue plaid jumper- type uniforms. I absolutely hated them. So it was a big deal when “picture day” came, and we didn’t have to wear our uniforms! Hurrah!
The Trouble with Little Pictures
Fast forward a few decades, and I, like many of you, have bunches of those little school pictures. You know the ones that are 2 x 3 inches and are too small to stay in place in a normal photo album with 3 x 5 or 5 x 6 windows. The ones that you have tucked in the original envelope they came in or are mixed with a bunch of other photos collected from school friends and tucked away in a box not to see the light of day for decades.
The organizational question then arises, what the heck do you do with these things? Throw them out? No way! Leave them in a box for the next generation to decipher? Hopefully not.
My Solution to the Little Photo Organization Problem
As with most “ah ha” moments, I stumbled on this idea. My husband has a pretty impressive baseball card collection from his youth. And years ago we bought the albums and specially designed plastic sleeves to properly archive the cards. Then we put the albums, sleeves and cards in a big box…unorganized. But that’s another story.
Anyway, my “ah ha” moment was in that to use the 9-up plastic sleeves for baseball card collections to organize and preserve the little school photos. And it worked beautifully. Here’s the system:
- Each of the nine pockets on a page gets one picture.
- That said, there may be a dozen copies of that one picture. All of them go in the one of the nine pockets, so the page has nine unique images.
- Each child gets his or her own page. That you can see the child grow up year by year all on one page! Bonus points if you can get the pictures in chronological order.
- Write on the back of each picture in #2 pencil the name of the child, age or year in school, the name of the school/location, and any pertinent details. Because the sleeves are clear plastic, you can easily see the description on the back of the pictures by just turning the page. No tape or adhesives are needed which can damage the photos. There’s no risk of the picture falling off of the scrapbook page and “losing” its description. It’s pretty slick.
- I’m in an interesting situation working on this particular family, where I don’t know all of the particulars of each person. So, I’ve made a copy of the whole page, mailed it to someone who would know, and asked that she write on the back of the copied picture the information. I’ll cut out the copied picture with the information and tuck it in the back of the plastic pocket with the actual picture. Neat!
Here’s a sample page.
I found the plastic sleeves at Office Max in packets of 10 for $3.49. Pretty reasonably priced. Be sure that you get ACID FREE sleeves. Anything with acid will corrode your pictures or documents over time. Not good.
Now you and the next generation can enjoy all of those little school pictures. Let me know if you try this. I’d be eager to hear your experiences.