Did you know that September is National Save Your Photos Month as well as National Disaster Preparedness Month? It is important to reflect on how you will react if a natural disaster or emergency were to affect you. There are many aspects of preparedness including mental preparedness (being ready to deal with tough choices and having a plan in place) and Physical preparedness (Making preparations in your home to gather important items and having a Survival Kit handy). We are going to talk about what to do with your memorabilia, specifically photos.
You don't have to be faced with an emergency before considering what to do with your precious photographs. Before it becomes pertinent, it's important to have a plan for what you want to do with your memorabilia in case you have to leave it behind. For photos, the first step you want to take is…
Find a place to store your photos
One of the best things you can do is finding a safe place to store your photos. But what would be considered a safe place?
Excessive heat or cold
You will want your photos to be in a safe container such as a plastic bin, an airtight container, or a fireproof safe, depending on how thorough you want to be. If you are unsure of how you want to store your photos www.archivalmethods.com has several options and kits you could use.
You will want your container to be opaque because sunlight can damage photos over time. You will also want to avoid placing your container anywhere where moisture can work its way into your photos and cause mold. Finally, you want to store your photos somewhere where a human would be comfortable staying i.e. somewhere that is not too hot or too cold. Photos are the safest in room-temperature, dry, and dark environments.
Some good places to store your photos
In a bedroom closet
In a safe or lockbox
In a finished and insulated basement or attic
Archive and Digitize your photos
Another useful way to keep your photos safe is to archive and digitize your photos so that you can have all of them together and safe on one external hard drive. There are many local photo digitization services that can scan, archive, and organize your photos (Including Discover Organizing). Once you have a copy of your scanned photos, you can place the external hard drive or storage device in a
disaster-proof safe. You’ll sleep easy knowing you have backups of all your precious memories.
But what if you don't have time to digitize ALL of your photos? How do you pick which ones to scan or which ones to take with you in an emergency? First, you have to…
Find your Favorite Photos
How do you find your favorite photos? It's a difficult decision to quantify the value of something that holds such vast sentimentality in your mind. However, if the need arises, you will be thankful if you can pinpoint which photos you care about the most, so you can be sure to protect them first.
Look at the Photos you Display Around your House
This might seem obvious, but look at the photos you display around your house. What photos did you choose to show every guest who walks through your door? What photos are on your fridge? Your walls? More than likely, THESE are your favorite photos, or at least some of them. You already make the decision to display them because you liked them so much; think about what these photos mean to you and if they would be considered favorites.
Once you Have an Idea of your Favorite Photos, Make a List of Them
Use this list to keep track of where your photos are in your house. You may want to digitize these photos at the very least, even if you do not do the same for your others. You will want to do everything you can to keep these photos safe. This list will also be extremely helpful in the unfortunate circumstance of your favorite photos becoming damaged! Even if some of your favorite photos aren't in the greatest condition, a photo restoration service will be a lot easier to afford if you are only fixing/restoring a select few.
With September being National Save your Photos Month and National Disaster Preparedness Month, as well as the current events occurring throughout the US, NOW is the time to start looking at your belongings and putting a plan in place just in case you need it! It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
Discover Organizing Inc.