If your family is like mine, you could fill at least one room with old photos. As we age, it becomes more and more difficult to part with these albums, stacks, boxes, envelopes and trunks of old photos. No matter what your family’s method of storage is, it’s probably not a safe and effective way to enjoy these precious memories. Let’s face it. We never really look at them, but we are compelled to save them. And space becomes the issue over time. I challenge you to set aside some time in your calendar or even better, involve others to help sort and store your old photos. You may even enjoy this task.
5 Steps to Sort, Store and Then Enjoy Old Photos
Here are 5 steps that may help you safely store precious memories and save space. Sorting old photos would be a great gift idea for your nostalgic family members for holidays or birthdays.
- Sort – I’m afraid it does make sense to go through your old photos somewhat, so you can group them by years, life stages, family member, etc. No need to micro-analyze. A brief overview will usually get your photos in the correct general category. You will need several boxes for this. If you come across photos of people and places you don’t remember or the photos are pretty obsolete, be brave and pitch it!
- Set aside – If you find some choice photos that get your attention immediately, put them in a box. Do this for each family member, era, stage, etc or as you’re moved!
- Decide – What do you want to do with the old photos? Would you like to make or order gifts? Do you want to box and store them? Would you like to have them digitized?
- Act – Pinterest will give you countless gift ideas for your old photos. This can be such a cool and creative way to honor a loved one, share the past with your siblings or daily put a smile on someone’s face.
- Purge – If you have gotten this far, there is no reason to go back where you came from. Keep a manageable number of photos in small, clear plastic tubs. Give family members a small tub of pictures that will be meaningful to them, then discard the rest.
Put your old printed photos into a digital format
If discarding seems impossible to do, find a company that will digitize your photos for you. You just drop them off, and they put them into digital files for you. From here you can share the files, make prints or gifts, and the clutter is “in the cloud,” so to speak. This option is more expensive, but may be just perfect for you. If you have reel to reel, VHS or even Super8, these companies can help with that as well.
Here are just a couple of resources to digitize your old photos:
Photos old and new are wonderful, but only if you can enjoy them. Commit to this project and enjoy the newfound space in your home and your mind.
Leave a comment on our blog and let us know about your old photos project.
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