Here’s the Best Way to Declutter by Digitizing Printed Photos, Videos, and Other Memories

If you’ve got a collection of printed photos, VHS videos, slide shows, and other memories you know there are treasured keepsakes you want to protect. Digitizing is the best way to protect or safeguard photos and other media files of your vacations, graduations, weddings, and other important life events.

What’s digitizing and what’s the best way to do it?

Digitizing is the process where you turn print files into digital files like I did with my grandmother’s scrapbook below. If you want to dive deeper into the topic scroll to the end of this post and click the link to a previous blog post on digitizing.

Do-it-your-selfers can digitize everything from printed photos and handwritten letters to blue ribbons using a scanner on a multi-function printer.

It’s labor-intensive to do everything yourself and I want to give you a proven system that I use with my digitization service to transform your clutter and turn it into an organized, easy-to-follow story of your family.

scrapbook digitized

Our Goal:

Declutter by digitizing.

Our closets, garages, and shelves get messy over the years. Digitizing your most meaningful memories is a great way to declutter and have an inventory so you can enjoy your photos, videos, and more.

I’ve been a photo coach for almost three decades and I’ve always put my focus on helping clients tell their stories through journaling.

Let’s keep it simple.

Step 1: Gather your files into one place

You might have a stack of traditional scrapbook albums in one room and video tapes or old letters stored in a bin in your garage or attic.

Bring all of your files into one dedicated place where you’ll begin sorting through them.

Stacks of slides, photos, videos

Now you’re going to choose what you’ll digitize. If a picture just jumps out at you and tugs at your heart, then that’s a keeper.

Another method is by asking questions, like you’re going to jot notes.

When I started during the age of rolls of film, I had clients choose the photos that were most important and write brief stories using the basic questions journalists ask:

  • Who—is in the photo?
  • What—is happening?
  • Why—is this important?
  • Where—is this taking place?
  • When—did this happen?
  • How—did the event come about?

Step 2: Label and conquer

Keep in mind that we’re going to keep what’s most important and not try to save everything. You’ll be able to confidently get rid of what you don’t need.

Here’s how we’ll do that. You might want to use manila envelopes and label them so it makes sense like this:

Family—Mom and Dad

Family—Siblings (or specific names of siblings)

Vacations—Most meaningful trips

Milestones—Graduations, Weddings, Funerals, Opening your first office

You can add other labels as needed but try to streamline.

As you follow this process, I hope you’re beginning to feel on top of your piles.

Step 3: Digitize the easy way

What’s the best way to digitize your files?

Man and woman sitting at camera and computer with images
Digitization is done with great care

Like I wrote above, you can use scanners, and use your phone or laptop’s camera to take digital photos of your prints. That’s okay for a few files but it gets too labor intensive if you’re trying to chronicle a history of photos stretching back over decades.

Digitizing with a reputable and trusted company is the best way and easiest way to approach the task.

I use FOREVER®, the most complete memory-keeping system on the market. My clients are thrilled with their service and I’ve been happily using them for almost a decade. It’s hassle-free.

Choose the files to digitize and select an appropriate size box from FOREVER® that the company will supply so you can pack your files and ship them to FOREVER®’s digitization facility just outside Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The company has invested in technology and people with a $5 million state-of-the-art facility and an outstanding customer service team. They can handle delicate files like Super 8 home movies and old newspaper clippings.

Once you’ve digitized your treasures then there’s so much more you can do with them.

FOREVER box for digitizing

Why FOREVER® is key

I hope you can see that turning your printed photos and other files into digital assets protects them from becoming damaged or lost. But how do you store them safely?

FOREVER® offers an excellent cloud-based storage system that’s built to last for multiple generations.

You own the digital rights to the files you store in your digital home. This gives you control you don’t have with social media platforms or other storage sites where you rent for a monthly fee and you give up your digital rights.

FOREVER®’s business model guarantees that your files are safe for a user’s lifetime plus 100 years and beyond.

Once you store your files in FOREVER® you can organize them into albums and nested albums. This makes it easy to turn them into printed photo books and other meaningful gifts that are uplifting and fun to give all year.

Let’s Digitize and Declutter

I’m available to guide you through the process of digitizing your memories so you can enjoy them and leave your family’s story as a legacy for future generations.

Woman looking at photo album

Contact me and I’ll guide you through the steps to go digital and clear your clutter.

If you have questions about researching your family history, I’ll gladly share about that, too.

Your story is unique and worth preserving for your current family and future family members who will come along in the next century and beyond.

Read this blog post to dig deeper into digitizing:

Why Digitizing Your Photos, Videos, and More Using FOREVER® is the Best Way to Preserve Memories

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Safeguard Your Memories

At Safeguard Your Memories, we go beyond mere photo storage. We empower you through personalized photo coaching, guiding you through the process of photo digitization, organization, and creative printing solutions.

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