You have decided to take care of your precious photos. Personal resolutions don't need to be made at the start of a year. You can start a resolution anytime. It's great that you know the importance of protecting, preserving your photo memories and get them digitized.
How should you go about it? Where should you start?
The best way to start is, designate a special area, where you would bring all your photos, albums, slides and negatives. Remember also to ask your relatives to trust you for a brief time with treasured family photos. Now is the time to ask them question, add the information about photos on the appropriate envelope you will store them. Jot down any information they would provide you with. There has been occasions where at an Estate there would be photos and the relatives have hard time identifying who is in the photo and the related stories. So this is the best time to take care of your family's history.
Once you have them in one designated area, next you start evaluating which box to start with. If you had already added titles or year per shoe box or any container that hold your photos, that makes it easier. If it isn't in some form of organized order, no problem. Bundle those together, specially the photos you might have taken out and never put them back in the envelopes you took them off of. I would mark on the envelope for those bundles "Misc" at some point once they are digitized, you could work on adding to the "groups" they belong to*.
1. Take one box at a time. Chances are they might be in the original envelope you had your films developed. You might have clues about the year from the envelope, if you don't remember the date or year it was taken.
2. Perhaps the best way to go forward is, take one envelope at a time. Take the photos out of the original developer's envelope. Check your photos, to see which ones you really like to keep and discard out of focus or photos you don't need to keep. For example I threw out some of the photos taken at the zoo, they weren't of high photographic value. So the selection process of what to keep starts at this point. Stack all the photos to be scanned in same direction. Photos that are same size bundle together and add to the white envelope you have. Add the title you like or just year, vacation, birthday, you decide. Also add on the envelope how many photos you have
3. Make sure photos don't stick to each other, as it might create problem which scanning.
Do the above procedure with all the other analog photos in various envelopes, boxes.
4. Take out of the photo albums the photos you like digitized. Make sure they don't stick from the album glue to the other photos. As that would damage the scanner also the other photos you take off the album.
5. Don't try to do all above in one day. Schedule perhaps one hour a day. Otherwise you'll feel overwhelmed.
6. Once you have them all ready for scanning, contact your trusted photo scanning business company that would give you personal attention and care.
7. You will feel so happy once you have all your paper photos added to all your other digital files. Now the fun begins having easy access to all your photos. You would start also getting creative, specially when you have happy occasions coming up. You will be glad you had taken care and insured the safety of your prized photos. Also, sad occasions are part of life. When some tragedy strikes and you need to commemorate special people in your life, that isn't the time to digitize. Be prepared to minimize the stress.
If you don't want to deal with sorting of your analog photo collection, then for an additional fee, your photos would get organized and then digitized. You will get a quote your professional organizer.
Congratulations, you read till the end. It means you are taking very seriously the importance of insuring your treasured photo collection pre-digitization.
* That's why you would need 3 copies of your digitized photos. One is ARCHIVAL, the second copy is backup of the archival and the third copy is for you to manipulate the photos by vacation, birthdays, celebrations, creating digital scrapbooks, slides etc.