Our family has always loved taking lots of pictures. During our work-from-home, self-quarantine time, we have enjoyed looking through old family photos as we clean out closets, drawers, and forgotten storage boxes. Like many people, we have both printed (paper) photos and digital ones to sort through.
If you and your family are cleaning and discovering forgotten mementos, you may have realized how important it is to properly save and store your treasured family photos. It makes sense to save multiple copies in different locations and formats so if one set is ever damaged or lost, you have back-up copies available elsewhere.
I will admit I really worry about is realizing the only photo of my in-law’s wedding was lost in a basement flood or small fire, or discover my computer crashed and I have no way to recover years of my children’s lives that were stored on it. Or let’s face it, who hasn’t accidentally deleted a digital picture and then it was unrecoverable! With a little time and a small amount of money, both you and I can weather these kinds of accidents with a smile and sense of calm.
Labeling and Sorting Printed Photos
One of the great things about printed photos is the ability to write information on the back. Previous generations were much better about writing the names, dates, and places on the photos so they could remember them years later. Photos were not as prevalent then and preserving the moment for future generations was important. I treasured that information as I looked through our older photos and read the details on each picture.
Copying and Storage Ideas for Printed Photos
You can use a photo scanner or even a home printer/scanner to digitally save copies of your printed photos. A few years ago I invested in the Wolverine SNaP-20MP and have been very happy with how easy it is to use plus the size is relatively small compared to other scanners. Vinny has been working on scanning lately and even set up a table in our family room. He scans while watching old sporting events.
This will make it easy to print copies later or share them digitally with friends and family. As you scan photos, consider uploading them to an online storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive. There are both free and paid options, depending on how many photos you need to save.
You may also want to consider printing additional paper copies now, organizing them, and storing them in separate locations both inside and outside your home. Printed photos should never be stored in locations such as a garage, basement, or attic where they are subject to moisture and extreme temperatures. Be sure to consider storing them in a container that will keep out paper-eating pests, too.
Photo negatives should be stored away from their printed partners for added protection. These negatives should be in a cool, dry location where humidity can be controlled to avoid damage.
If you came across some particularly memorable photos, why not consider displaying them in your home or office? Create a memories wall or space and enjoy your favorites or rotate them seasonally for variety. And of course, using a Plymouth Card to send to family and friends.
Protecting your Digital Photos
A separate back-up storage device, like an external hard drive, for your computer is a good idea in case your hard drive crashes. You can also save photos to a jump drive, maybe several, and then keep those jump drives in different locations for safety. Your phone should have back-up options - manual or automatic – to recover photos if it is ever lost or damaged.
Preserve your Memories
Whether you are in the mood for an annual spring cleaning or have some extra time at home to clean out closets, drawers, and storage spaces in your home, chances are you have come across special memories and treasures. It might even be a great family activity to go through family photos that have been accumulating, talk about the memories created, and make copies for each family member that is special to them.