can I use lightroom to import my photos, and have those photos categorized.
Yes, you can import your photos into Lightroom, and they you can use Lightroom tools to organize your photos. (Note: Importing does not mean the photos are actually stored in Lightroom; they are not stored in Lightroom, they are stored on your hard disk)
I would also would want the ability to export the photos to an organized photo folder in windows.
Lightroom allows you to export to any folder you'd like.
My concern is if this possible will the exported folder contain the original files or just a thumbnail index cache for quick reference in lightroom.
Exports are always newly created versions of your photos, including your edits and metadata. Exports are not the original files (unless you tell Lightroom to export the Original, which effectively makes a copy of the original)
Thanks for your prompt response, this will definitely help me out.
Thank you I will look into the link you have provided. You have no idea how much a time saver this will be for me.
I have massive amounts of family photos scattered all over the place that need to be organized.