Organized Photos

Best Way to Store Photos & Safeguard them from Natural Disasters

How would you feel if you lost all of your most precious photos? For most, it’s devastated.
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With the epic fires, hurricanes and floods in the news recently, it was moving to see what people valued most. Family and pets were of course the number one concern — the second, their memories. If there was time, the boxes of photos and albums were the irreplaceable possessions rescued from disaster. However, in many cases that wasn’t a possibility.
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To prevent the traumatic loss of your precious photos and the memories that go with them, it’s important to protect and preserve your photo collection before disaster strikes. Here are three steps to organize and store your photos across your physical and digital collections to safeguard them from natural disasters!
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STEP 1. PRINTED PHOTO ORGANIZING 

.1 – First, gather your printed photos to one central workspace. This could include photos in boxes, frames, or albums. The only way to effectively organize old photos is to have the full collection in one location to start.
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2 – Toss the doubles and duds. Downsizing your collection of photos to only the most special is a crucial step that most people avoid all together. As a result of purging doubles and dud photos, organizing your photos will be far simpler.
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QUICK TIP: If you feel overwhelmed at this stage, start by picking out your favorites. Choose the photos that you couldn’t bare to lose — the ones that tell a story, highlight a milestone or family tradition.


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STEP 2. DIGITAL PHOTO ORGANIZING 

1 – Consolidate your digital photo libraries. Because most of us have digital photos scattered about our devices, it’s important to collect all your hard drives, phones, camera cards, and CDs. Then, consolidate them onto one device. 

Many people unknowingly have duplicate photo libraries on their computer. So, the first step to organizing your digital photos is always to find one digital photo manager, and stick with it! If you’re at a loss, we use iPhoto (Mac) and Google Photos (any) with many of our clients.
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2 – Delete the extras. Start by putting the most important photos into a favorites file or album. Make sure to delete as many of the duplicates as you have time for. Since thousands of duplicate photos can overwhelm your storage space, one key strategy for storing digital photos is to downsize your photos regularly.
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If downsizing  your digital photo library seems like an endless task, try giving the project just 30 minutes a day for 1 week. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish!
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For disaster preparedness, we can start with these printed and digital favorites. It’s better to get started, then to postpone the project because it feels too overwhelming!
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STEP 3. BACKUP BOTH COLLECTIONS 

.1 – Digitize your printed photos as back-up insurance. Scan your photos yourself with a printer (like this) or hire a local company to digitize them. Then, add your scanned images to your most important digital photos file from Step 2. Now you have all of your most important photo memories in one place! Bravo!
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2 – Designate 3 locations for your digital photos for extra security. Since backups will save you in a fire, having them in 3 locations is recommended for ideal back-up. Here’s my recommendations:

  • Put them on an external hard drive (like this)
  • Upload them to the cloud storage of your choice.
  •  Put a copy on a flash drive or small external hard drive in a fireproof safe or off-site location.

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3 – Next, create a physical photo library of favorites. Believe it or not, your printed photos are also your best back-up. Technology quickly becomes obsolete. Lastly, I recommend printing your digital favorites file as a back-up and another way to access your photo memories.

 

An Archival Photo Box can preserve your printed photo collection


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As a result, your photo disaster preparedness project will bring you peace of mind AND will bring your photos back into your life, to enjoy, share and preserve!
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(BONUS) STEP 4. HIRE A TEAM

Finally, if you’re interested in even more detailed information or help with organizing your physical and digital photos, email us at hello@simplyspaced.com for more information on our photo organizing services.
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Nancy McFarland is a certified Personal Photo Organizer through APPO-the Association of Personal Photo Organizers; Home Movie certified through Pro 8 Millimeter and is a NAPO Golden Circle member. Nancy began her photo preservation business in 1995 before the explosion of digital photography. She has helped hundreds of clients preserve their printed photo collections with workshops in photo preservation, photo organizing, recording family history and custom album making.

 

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