1. Make time. Carve out a regular time to download new photos — daily (during prime-time TV) or weekly (first thing on Saturdays). Just make it routine.
2. Clean as you go. “As you upload, take the time to delete any photos that you are sure you will not want to keep,” said Suzanne O’Donnell of My LA Organizer. It could save you grief and hard drive space in the long run.
3. Back up and store long term. “Transfer photos off your computer to an external hard drive, cloud or online gallery to save space,” said Ashley Stanfield of Creatively Neat. Again, a routine is key. “I recommend twice a year, or every daylight savings.”
4. Develop a labeling system and stick to it. “Part of the organization is knowing beforehand how you’d like to divide up your images,” said Joey Honsa of Brass Tacks Organization in Los Angeles. Develop a naming system for photo folders. Many professionals start folder names with the year, month and date, then subject. Examples: 2013-12-25-Christmas-Morning or 20131210-tokyo. Start with the year, so when folders are sorted alphabetically, they will appear in chronological order.
5. Consider software. Our experts recommended Adobe Lightroom. Price: $149. There are free alternatives, but they aren’t as flexible or sophisticated. Windows users can rename files in batches by highlighting all the photos in a folder (or simultaneously pressing Control and F4). Right click on the first file and select “Rename.” Type in your new file name and hit Enter. All the highlighted photos will be renamed sequentially, as in: 131210-11 tokyo (1), 131210-11 tokyo (2), and so on.