Feature Story

Protecting Family Photos for Posterity: Photo Storage Tips

Caden: Future HOF

If a disaster were to strike and you immediately had to leave your home, what would you grab? While men might be more prone to pack up survival supplies like flashlights, tools, batteries and non-perishable food, you envision yourself running for your cats, sentimental jewelry and photographs. While the pictures are important to you, they may not be the most logical things to load up. How can you keep your pictures protected so you don't have to worry about them?

So those wondering about the number of ways to preserve and store memories will find the answers below.

Put Them Some Place Safe

You're losing valuable space in your home to things you never use. It's always a good idea to do a yearly declutter. When you do, though, you find there are numerous items you just can't part with or save for your children or grandchildren. Let's call these the "sentimentals." These items might include your metal lunch box collection from when you were a kid, Golden Books you're saving to give to your daughter when she has her first child or an attic full of family photographs and vacation memorabilia. There's no way you're going to get rid of the sentimentals, so consider getting a storage unit to hold them for you. CubeSmart storage facilities offer assistance in moving and organization.

When choosing a facility, keep in mind the options. You want a low-humidity, cool unit. Keep photographs stored off of the ground to avoid the possibility of water damage. And, if you can, get an indoor unit on the second floor or higher to avoid damage, dust and critters.

Scan Them

Another option in photograph preservation is to scan and save them on your personal computer. If you decide to do it yourself, it will be very time consuming. But it might be a fun project to do with the family or on your own. As you feed each picture into the scanner, name and save them into folders, you can bask in the warm glow of the memories. If scanning and saving thousands of pictures doesn't sound like your cup of tea, hire someone to do it. Not only will they help you unclutter, but they'll organize your photos for you as well. Services such as scanmyphotos.comcan ease your concerns of losing your memories to fading, fire, flood or other disasters. You, your family and friends can access the photos anytime of the day or night.

Back Them Up

It's important to backup photo files. For example, when saving them into your PC, also save them to an external hard drive and DVDs, suggests Washington Post. Also consider an online digital service like Snapfish because you can upload your pictures as a backup and at the same time have the availability to create photo books and personalized items like stationary, calendars and ornaments. Order any size and style of print you want.

Keep it Up

Once you've done the big portion of your photograph storage, keep it up. Dump blurry photos along with ones of people you don't recognize. Also, once a year, do it again. Either take the years worth of photos to the storage unit or scan them into the computer. It will be much less of a daunting task if you keep up with it. You can breathe easier knowing your memories are safe.

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