That moment when you’re handed a big stack of disorganised family photos can be overwhelming to say the least! In today’s guest blog, CM Advisor Tiffany Chittenden shares her recent experience of receiving a big box of photos from her childhood. Her straightforward process for getting them all organised and ready for her next scrapbook project is easy enough for you to give it a go too.
My parents recently sold the house I grew up in. The inevitable ‘downsize’ had occurred. While I was still struggling to deal with the fact that I would never make any more memories at my childhood home, Mum sent me a box of photos. I knew she had sent them to me because I was so passionate about preserving photos for future generations. This box contained photos from before digital, no negatives, no hard drive backups, just these one-off photos. I decided straight away that a Fast2Fab Album would be perfect for these photos and would make the whole progression much faster. BUT before getting too far ahead, I knew my first step was to sort them into a PowerTM Sort Box where they will be safe while I find the time to get them into an album.
This first step of sorting the photos, as daunting as it was, would make the process of getting the photos into an album much, much easier. I cleared a space on my table and began. Sorting the photos ended up taking me almost a whole day. I spent more time reminiscing, laughing, sighing and even crying a little than I did actually sorting! But I loved every second of it. This was my childhood, in a box. I decided to sort them into personal piles, because some I couldn’t even guess what year they were from. I had a pile for me, one for each of my sisters, one for my Mum and Dad, each set of grandparents, one for wedding photos, one for photos of Mum and Dad’s family and friends, and a pile for the more recent photos of my children, nieces and nephews.
I recommend keeping your sorting process simple and in a system that makes sense to you. Once all the photos were sorted, I placed them into a PowerTM Sort Box using the compartments to keep them organised. I wrote a brief description on the white divider tabs (tip: use pencil so you can reuse the tabs) to identify what the photos are – just in case I don’t get back to this project for a while. That way I’ll know what’s what when I open the box again.
My second step was to scan all of these precious photos. I have owned a photo scanner for years and I highly recommend one for any photos you have that were taken before we could save them on hard drives. This step isn’t for everyone, so don’t feel you have to go out and buy a scanner. Once your photos are safe in a CM album, they will be protected for future generations although, if you feel strongly enough about photo preservation and memory keeping, a digital copy is also good “insurance” just in case.
Scanning to create a digital copy is something I do out of habit now, and in this case I put the digital copies onto three SD memory cards for myself and my two sisters.
To get to this point has taken me the better part of a week, just scanning when I had time, but I am now ready to get them into an album!
Imagine – photos that have been stored in a box for their whole existence (some I’d never even seen!), will soon be proudly displayed in an album for my children and future generations to enjoy! (Stay tuned for the second part to this blog.) For now, they are safe and sound – and organised in a photo-safe PowerTM Sort Box.
Have you got a stash of old family photos hiding away in a box somewhere? We hope you’re now inspired to get your childhood memories sorted and ready for a new scrapbooking project!