Ok, who has drawers or shoe boxes full of family photos? We know you do, because we did too. In fact, most of the clients we have worked with have also been storing decades of memories this way.
What’s wrong with holding on to generations of family photos, you ask?
Well, nothing actually. It’s not about the quantity as much as it is about the way in which these cherished keepsakes are being stored. Though, of course, it’s also about the quantity if it’s outgrown its designated space.
There are two ways to address editing and storing family photos, and we recommend combining them and using both.
1. Go digital. Nowadays, most of our pictures are digital anyway, and the storage issue centers around not editing them as we go. This eats up storage space unnecessarily and adds time and frustration to the process of trying to find a specific image from the recent past. So, edit as you go. If you take 20 pictures of the sunset over the lake, quickly revisit them when you’re done, and keep your favorite, deleting the rest.
For your old (non-digital) photos, you can hire a service to scan them into digital format. Alternatively, you can purchase a high quality scanner and do it yourself. This takes more time, but could be an excellent project for the summer, especially if you have children who could help.
Of course, if you have several thousand photos to scan we recommend going through the same editing process you would for your digital photos, keeping only the best of the best. (You may not actually need every photo from your first-cousin-once-removed’s wedding. A few will suffice.) Once you’ve edited your collection, scan what remains, and make a plan to appropriately store the hard copy, if you wish.
2. Assign proper storage. Chronological photo albums is the best way to store your cherished memories. Additionally, a few select framed photos or a single photo wall is a great way to display your favorite life moments. We love seeing family histories creatively displayed in the home. This, of course, does not mean hanging every picture ever taken (for that, use the digital copy and a digital frame or two). It means that you can select specific milestones that you wish to highlight, and place them deliberately in your home. Favorite locations, such as desktops, where you’re likely to enjoy your memories daily are a good place to start.
Additionally, you can have the photos blown up to varying sizes that can then be assembled together in a collage-style wall.
Having one space specifically designated for family photos is a way to appropriately honor your memories. Then, when it comes time to move, a single photo wall can easily be changed out for more neutral decor in staging. In the meantime, when combined with a few select framed images and chronological photo albums, your family memories will be stored, honored, and most importantly, enjoyed by everyone.
All my best,