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A Photo Finish – Steps to Transforming your Paper Prints into Digital

November 2nd, 2013

In Order To Succeed How TO Scan Old Pictures Vancouver Professional Organizer

After years of having a gloriously large storage space I was forced to downsize and that included my equally large printed photo collection. Like many of us, all my new photos are electronic but the keepsakes from years past are all printed on aging photo paper. Of course, I was excited at the organizing challenge but a little uncertain about transferring my photos to digital. My main fear was that I didn’t really have an organizing process to follow. So, I developed one and here it is for you to use too.

Step 1: Collect all the photos from albums, packages and all the nooks and crannies.

Step 2: Remove all the photos and place in a shoe box separating by category with a cue card. You can label the cue cards by year or category. Current best practice is to organize your photos by category and then chronologically within the category. (See below for more information.) No need to over-organize at this point. You can rearrange the order later. (P.S. You will have a miscellaneous pile.)

Step 3: Review each pack of photos and decide which to keep and which to toss. (Please note: photos are not recyclable.) As you review each pack, use a coloured sticky dot to note which photos you’d like to either frame, keep or contain after they’ve been scanned. Use a different coloured dot to indicate which items you’d like to send to specific loved ones. Set aside any photos that need repair or colour correction.

Step 4: Find a scanning company that has a solid reputation. They should offer to scan both the fronts and backs of each photo and touch up the flawed photos you set aside in the previous step. The price you pay often depends on the quality of the scanning. It’s important that they scan the groups of photos into file folders labeled by whatever the cue card indicates. This way you should receive them back on a disc neatly organized.

Step 5: Once the photos are returned, check the quality of the images and confirm that they are organized and complete.

Step 6: Remove any photos that you earmarked to go to other people, to be framed and finally, yes, you can get rid of the rest. It’s ok to close your eyes:)

Step 7: Arrange the photos in your photo software by category, not chronologically. The challenge with organizing things by year is it’s hard to remember which year such-and-such happened. However, if you have them arranged by Christmas, and then by year within Christmas, it will be easier for you to locate any image you’re looking for. Last night my mother asked me to find a photo of her that she remembered seeing framed at my house. Instead of having to search through years of photos I simply went to the photo folder labeled “Mom” and after a brief search, I found just the right one.

All November we are tackling your mountains of memorabilia that often get ignored because you don’t have the proper organizing system on hand. Join me this month on my website for weekly Blog Posts with ideas and tips to ensure your precious memories and collectibles aren’t cluttering your space. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook for more decluttering tips and elegant advice for organizing your home, office, and your life.

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