My Latest Organizing Project It’s been a tough several months for everyone due to the Coronavirus/Covid 19, but things are starting to reopen with restrictions and people are moving around a bit more.  I drove down to North Carolina recently to spend 10 days with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.  The drive was a bit surreal as there was NO traffic.  I made it from eastern Connecticut to Chapel Hill, NC in 10 ½ hours.  I had a wonderful visit and while there, I found a beautiful new home close to my family.  Yes, I will be moving in early August.  So, for the next few weeks I will be putting my business on hold while I organize, pack and move.

My latest photo organizing project has been going through my late husband’s photos.  There was a box stored under the pool table (that we don’t use) labeled “Rick’s photos”.  He and I had started going through it a couple of winters ago but never finished.  With his passing, I now wanted to take the time to sort and organize all of those photos to preserve them for myself and his family.  It turned out that a lot of the photos were actually his mother’s and sister’s so I put those aside and gave them to my sister-in-law to sort through.  For my husband’s photos, I organized them by date when I could and the rest by subject such as vehicles (he was into classic cars and restoring Jeeps and trucks), family, boats (he had a lot of those over the years too), pets, and photos of the two of us.

vAfter I finished sorting and organizing the photos, I then digitized (scanned) them so that they will be preserved for many years.  I will be putting them into a FOREVER account so that family and friends can view them and add their own comments.  I wish I had the opportunity to finish organizing the photos with Rick because I’m sure there are some wonderful stories that go along with many of them.  I now more emphatically than ever advise everyone to take the time to record the stories that go along with each photo now, before they are lost.

Next, I went through all of my digital photos on my computer and my phone and identified all the special ones of Rick over the years.  I have been very diligent over the past 15 years in organizing my digital photos, going back to the ones I took with my digital cameras, by date and subject, so it was easy to find the ones I wanted to pull out.

My next step in this photo organizing project was to go through my traditional paper scrapbook albums that I have created over the past 22 years, pull out the special photos of Rick during our many adventures, and digitize them to add to my collection.

Finally, I will be creating a few collages from the scanned photos to be used as memorial boards for his funeral and also adding all of the photos to a digital photo frame (from Nixplay) that will be showing after the funeral at our house for family and friends to view.   My goal is to eventually create a book celebrating his life to be able to give to preserve his story for myself, his daughter and his grandchildren.

Preserving your child’s memorabilia you thought about preserving your child’s memorabilia?  With graduation season upon us, if you have a child graduating, you probably have lots of your child’s memorabilia that you have collected over the years.  This includes drawings, handwritten stories, report cards, awards, certificates, diplomas, sashes from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and even special t-shirts.  You are probably storing them in bins because they are special and you don’t have the heart to throw them away.  And, you are probably are also planning to give them to the child after he or she moves out on their own.  I know that is what I had planned to do but, as it turns out, I’ve been lugging them along from house to house as I moved.

I am now preparing for another move that requires me to downsize so I asked my daughter what she would like me to do with her stuff.  Her response: “scan everything and then throw it away – I don’t have room for it either.”  This seems to be the common response of grown children these days – they don’t want our stuff and they don’t want to keep much of their stuff either.

So, what to do with all this “stuff”?  Digitize it!  Here are a few options for doing this.

  1. For the flatter items such as drawings, stories, report cards, certificates, and awards, you can use a flatbed scanner. Lay the item on the scanner, carefully place the cover over it, and then hit scan.
  2. For bulkier items such as trophies you can use a light box. You can either create one yourself using a cardboard box and some white material or you can purchase one online.
  3. Take a photo of the item using a digital camera or cell phone and then download the photo to your computer. everything is digitized, you will want to rename each file so that you know what it is.  You might want to create separate folders for each child and create subfolders for the different categories of items.

Now that the items are digitized, you can create a book of each child’s drawings or stories.  And, if you decide to make a memory book of their school years, you can include the digitized photos of the memorabilia along with the personal photos.

And, don’t forget to back up your digitized files so they are protected.  The professional organization I belong to, The Photo Managers (formerly APPO) recommends 3 backups of the photos, on at least 2 kinds of media, 1 of which is off-site.  Media refers to external hard drives and off-site includes cloud storage such as FOREVER.  In other words, do not keep your only copy on your computer.

Take the time to preserve your child’s memorabilia now; you all will be happy in the future that you did.  If you would like help digitizing your memorabilia, schedule a call and I am happy to discuss your outsourcing options.