Let me state for the record that I'm just as guilty of being a pack rat as anybody else.
However, my wife Vicki is notorious for saving virtually everything. And that includes every photograph she has ever taken in her life. It can get extremely overwhelming, especially when one goes on a two-week vacation and brings home 36-48 reels of 35mm film that need to be developed, and then the prints need to be put in binders, and then the binders need to be stored somewhere. You got the time to do all that? Me neither.
So, in an effort to "streamline" our life (and that means getting rid of stuff we don't need), I have undertaken a few different things to help Vicki maintain and manage her photograph collection.
1. I bought her a digital camera. Being a proud Nikonian (I currently use a DSLR D70), I got Vicki a Nikon Coolpix camera and a 4G SDHC card. Now all her photos are digital – no more film processing costs. Yay!
I moved her digital-burned photos to a solid state disc. I really like these Simpletech solid state storage discs, and I got Vicki a 250GB disc of her own, with the expressed purpose of storing her photographs. Since most of her "un-filed" photographs were developed by Sam's Club, who also places a complimentary CD copy in the envelope with the 4x6 prints, I simply transferred the files from the disc onto the solid state media, in a directory that is named after the date the photograph is taken.
3. Her non-CD photos will be converted to CD. Ritz Camera offers a service where they will scan 250 photographs for $50. I haven't yet started to use that offer, but I may in the future.
Once Vicki has all the photographs on the solid state disc, she can then go through and organize which photos go where, rename, relabel, etc. And then all I have to do is transfer the files from her SDHC chip onto the Simpletech disc.
All in the effort of streamlining our lives. One small step. That's all it takes.