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Organizing Photographs and Film

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Photographs are precious mementos: Store them in a cool, dry place to protect them from damage.

Keep any that have particular value in a fireproof box or safe, or leave copies in the bank. Group photographs in boxes or albums to keep them neat and accessible.

Sorting Photographs
Labeling prints If prints or packages do not already have a date, write the month and year on the back of each print, along with the location.
Keeping Negatives
Avoiding marks Handle negatives carefully, touching only the edges. Do not leave fingerprints on them because this will result in poor reprints.

Dealing with Film

• Keeping undeveloped film Heat damages film, so keep rolls in a refrigerator. Place them in a covered rack in the door, well away from food.
• Storing exposed film Put undeveloped rolls back in their original containers, and keep in a cool, dark place. Put negatives in the package in which they were returned.
• Developing film Have film developed as soon as possible after using up a roll. If film is left for a long time, the images may deteriorate.
• Taking films on vacation In hot weather, wrap your camera and film in a plastic bag, and keep in a cooler to protect them from dust and heat.

Arranging Prints Neatly

Store prints in shoeboxes instead of putting them in an album. To find photographs quickly, create a filing system using index cards as dividers. Label the cards to show the contents of each section.
Filing negatives neatly
To store negatives flat, keep them in their plastic sleeves. Punch holes in the sleeves, taking care to avoid the negatives, and file in a ring binder. Label each sleeve to indicate the contents.

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Storing Jevcelry
Keep valuable items of jewelry separate so that they do not scratch one another. Put these pieces and items of sentimental value in a safe at home or in a safe-deposit box at a bank. Have jewelry valued for insurance, and tell the insurers if you sell or buy any pieces.

Keeping Small Items
• Tidying rings Make a ring post for holding inexpensive rings. Cut a piece of dowel 3 in (7.5 cm) long, and attach one end to a wood or cork base. Slip rings onto the post.
• Grouping earrings To store earrings for pierced ears, stick them into a pincushion.
• Hanging clip-on earrings Pin a ribbon inside a drawer with thumb tacks. Hang clip-on earrings on the ribbon.
• Collecting items Use a small tray or box to hold accessories that you wear every day. Make a habit of putting these accessories into the tray at night so that you will be sure to find them in the morning.

Storing Necklaces
Arranging necklaces Keep inexpensive necklaces in a long box or poster tube, or loop them onto a coat hanger, and hang them in a closet.
Hanging up a necklace
Attach a cup hook to the inside of an armoire door. Store an inexpensive necklace or bracelet by hanging it on the cup hook.
Organizing Books and Papers
The writer John Milton said “a good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit.” Well-kept books give years of pleasure. Mark your place with a bookmark instead of folding the corners of pages. When you lend a book, note its title and the name of the borrower.

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Planning Storage
• Setting up a system Group your books into categories. For example, arrange them alphabetically by the authors’ surnames, or by subject matter.
• Allowing room Leave at least 1 in (2.5 cm) between the tops of the books and the base of the shelf above so that you can remove books easily. Allow at least 1 in (2.5 cm) of shelf width for every book.
• Arranging sheet music Use a magazine rack to hold small quantities of sheet music. Sort large collections alphabetically, and allocate a shelf for them.

Preserving Books
• Minimizing humidity Keep books in dry places. Combat humidity by putting a small moisture absorber near places that attract condensation, such as double-glazed windows.
• Caring for covers Protect paperbacks with plastic jacket covers. Wipe leather bindings with leather cleaner.
• Keeping down dirt Remove books regularly, and dust them and the bookshelves.
• Making dust shields Tack 2-in (5-cm) wide leather strips to the fronts of shelves to keep dust off the books beneath.

photo organization

Storing Tools
Garden and household tools are expensive, so take care of them to prolong their useful lives. Keep implements with blades in a safe place, out of reach of children, and with the blades sheathed in thick cloth or bubble wrap.

Keeping Implements
• Hanging tools Protect tools from damage by hanging them up. Keep them on hooks or on a metal or wooden rack. If a tool has no hole by which to hang it, drill a hole in the handle, thread string through it, and tie to form a loop.
• Storing small items Use plastic storage boxes to keep garden items such as trowels, and household implements such as wrenches and drill bits.
• Maintaining implements Clean all tools after you have used them. Wash dirty garden tools under an outside faucet, then dry them carefully.
• Storing for a season at the end of the gardening season, clean all tools thoroughly. Oil metal parts to prevent rusting, and protect unpainted wood by rubbing it with linseed oil.

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Storing Large Items
Storing a wheelbarrow Prop a barrow up against a wall. Put a brick in front of the wheel, and fix the handles to the wall with bungee cords.
Keeping a hose
Punch four holes in the base of an old enamel basin, and screw it onto a large board. Screw the board to one wall of a garage or shed, then wrap the hose around the basin to keep it neat

Clearing a Workshop
Utilizing work surfaces Keep work surfaces clean and clear so that they are ready for use. Use shelves, or spaces under work surfaces, for storage.
Making a tool board
Wrap tools in plastic wrap, and lay on a board. Attach nails where the tools are to hang. Spray the tools and board with paint, and let dry. Unwrap the tools, then hang them in the marked places.

Organizing Photographs and Film