I'm pretty sure each person out there has a stash somewhere in the house for their photos. A box, a shopping bag, a drawer..it's out there, I bet.
What to do about all those photos? Well, the first thing is find some time. Set aside maybe just a half an hour to get started. It doesn't have to be a full day to get what seems like a monster of a project. It could even be during the time you normally spend vegging out on the couch at night. We can get this done in manageable, small chunks.
After you've figured out when you've got a bit of time to dedicate, we want to see just what you've got there. In this digital world, chances are you won't ever need negatives again. Think about pulling out and tossing the whole lot of them. From there, start to sort out your photos.
Make piles of photos based on how you'd like to set up your final product - whether that be an album or a photo box. You might find your self creating piles of photos by year. Or, it might be easier to categorize by events: weddings, parties, holidays, dance recitals, baseball games. Make sure you stay consistent in your piles, however. For example, if you're categorizing by year, don't worry about what order the photos are being put in the pile for "1999." That will happen soon!
As you're sorting through that bag of long lost photos, pull out and toss any photos you would never want to see again: blurry pictures, obstructed views, doubles, photos where your eyes are closed. Toss them. If you're concerned about privacy for any reason, go ahead and shred them.
Now, comes the only tricky part. Take each of those stacked up categories and start to sort them in an even more detailed manner, if you want to. If you're content to simply have an album of "2010" or a photo box of "Dance Recitals," skip this step. However, if you'd like the photos of 2010 at least grouped by event or the photos from each dance recital grouped together, then you'll want to do that. And, don't be hard on yourself if you find that some photos you have no idea when they were or why they were taken. That's okay!
Now that all the bad photos are gone and the good photos are grouped together, we can figure out how to store them. Decide if you'd like an album or photo box. If it's a box, start to load the photos in. Label the box as to what's inside. If there are multiple categories in one box, use a divider to separate and label the contents. Most photo boxes come with these dividers.
If you're using albums, you'll need to count how many photos are in each larger group (the year, for example). The only reason to do this is to know what size album you'll need. If there will be a series of albums, it may not be necessary; you can just fill one and start the next where the first left off. However, if you want separate albums for separate categories, then make sure you have an album that can hold the amount of photos you want.
Keep in mind this will take some time, especially if there's a lot of photos to go through. However, it doesn't have to all happen at once. Go through a couple handfuls of pictures each night, and after some time, it'll all be done. This project can be completed!