Back in the day when film was developed at the local drugstore, we all had piles of photos laying around in envelopes. They were always waiting to be organized into albums.
In our case, this job's rainy day never came. So we recently dug out our piles of envelopes. We took a deep breath and started opening each one, quickly flipping through to determine the approximate year of the images within. We spent several hours on this, and we managed to organize the envelopes into a rough chronology.
It would have taken even longer had we looked at every photo and undertaken the consequent reminiscencing, and we still intend to do this at some point. Perhaps when we're very old.
In the meantime, we stored the photos in beautiful archival photo boxes from Kolo and stacked them on the shelves above our desk. They're within reach at all times, lest we're tempted to peek sooner.
Since we knew we were leaving the boxes in view, we wanted storage that would be attractive as well as archival. Kolo's "Havana" boxes are constructed like cigar boxes, with hinge and lip. They have linen covers in rich colors, and each box has a little window into which you can slot an identifying image.
Available in SF through PaperSource for $20 - $30/ea.