Have 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take a photo of the item using a digital camera or cell phone and then download the photo to your computer.
Once 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.