You know the saying – a picture can say 1000 words. Or how about this one – take a picture, it’ll last longer! Photos and videos can be wonderful physical representations of our memories, but those accumulated stacks of Kodak memories in our attics are also unfortunately big contributors to physical clutter. Thankfully, while modern technology has made quality photography more accessible than ever, it’s made storing our photos more efficient than ever too!
Digitizing your photos is the process of taking all your physical media - ranging from printed photos, CDs, cassette tapes, you name it! – and consolidating them all into one digital place, like a cloud-based folder or hard-drive. When it comes to deciding which photos you want to digitize, I recommend only keeping the ones that count! Don’t keep photos that bring up bad memories, or ones in which you don’t like the way you look.
If you’re anything like most of my clients, it’s possible that you have hundreds of photos stacked in a box somewhere and you may be wondering if the process of sorting through decades of photos is worth your time. I promise – it is! Keep reading to learn the benefits of digitizing your media.
1. Reduce Physical Clutter
If there’s one thing that we can thank streaming services and smartphones for, it’s the reduction of clutter. Gone are the days of needing stacks of VHS tapes and CDs to get our movie or music fixes. We’re now lucky to live in an age where millions of songs, movies, and shows can be accessed with the mere click of a button, meaning those stacks of tapes, CDs and DVDs are becoming nothing but relics.
The same goes for our photo prints. 35mm cameras have been replaced by our smartphones, and most of us have started digitizing our memories without even realizing. But what about our photos from ten, twenty, and thirty-plus years ago? By digitizing these photos, you’re taking those boxes of photos that take up space in your attic and consolidating them all into the size of a USB. How’s that for reducing clutter!?
2. Better Preservation
Not only does digitizing your photos reduce the physical space they take up, but it also helps to better preserve them. Making digital copies of our photos ensures that they won’t get damaged by physical and sometimes unforeseeable elements, like water or fire damage. And just as we make copies of important documents, like passports and certificates, keeping a backup copy of our photos helps protect them from loss, whether they get misplaced or damaged.
Of course, one could argue that it’s easier to lose a small USB than a big box of photos. For this reason, I recommend keeping at least two USBs or hard drives with your media. Keep one in a safe or safety deposit box so you always have backup in a safe space. Alternatively, you can also store your media using a cloud-based service. The important thing is to have a backup.
3. More Sharing Opportunities
Another benefit of modern technology is how easy it is to exchange files and media with our loved ones. By digitizing our memories, it makes it easy to share them with only a few clicks of the button. Perhaps you have kids who will want a copy of these photos; by digitizing your media, you make it easy to pass down these memories to your family without having to dig through boxes and without passing on the physical clutter than comes with photo albums.
4. Greater Enjoyment
Let’s be honest. Out of all of us that keep boxes of old photographs, how many of us actually take them out and look at them? By having your photos organized onto a digital space, it makes it much easier to go through and enjoy them! In fact, depending on what TV you have, you can even connect your hard drive and enjoy a trip down memory lane on the big screen, making it more interactive for the family.
Sorting through years of memories can be a time-consuming process, but the benefits of digitizing your media and the joy you’ll feel when the task is done will make it well worth your investment!