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Organizing Your Family’s Memories in Photos, Videos, and Heirlooms

Family photos

Life goes by quickly; one minute your parents and grandparents are running around with you as a child, the next minute, you’re a grown adult, and your loved ones are getting older. Before they’re gone, you want to preserve all the memories from your past with them. 

In our lifetime, technology has changed a lot. We’ve gone from film cameras to digital and VHS tapes to DVDs and BluRay. Our childhood and the lives of our elders are documented with outdated devices. 

Luckily, your memories aren’t lost. We’re going to go over how to organize your family’s photos, videos, and heirlooms. 


markus spiske i6saCH0IodE unsplashConverting film photos to digital ones is a straightforward process. Even if you have negatives from your great grandma’s childhoods passed down the generations, it’s possible. 

You can use EverPresent services or another similar option, which will professionally change any film to a digital copy. This is vital because if the negative or slide is damaged by water, the air, or other causes, the image is destroyed forever. 

With digital images, you can save them on your computer and know they’re safe. As an added safety measure, you should then take the digital copies and save them to an external hard drive or upload them on the internet. 

That way, if your computer breaks or gets stolen, you’re not missing these photos. Once they’re protected, you can organize the images in folders. This makes finding pictures quicker and viewing them more coherent. 


daniel von appen v9B fRs1zdw unsplashIt was only in the last 20 or so years that we changed from film to digital cameras, including videos. Many of our parents have home videos of us as children that are recorded on a VHS. It’s difficult to watch these memories because companies don’t make VCRs anymore. 

However, you’re in luck. There are VHS to DVD converters you can buy to save your videos, and it’s easy. Once you have it on a DVD, you can upload it to your computer as well. 

Similar to the photos, you should back up these videos to a second source and organize them. It’s going to be time-consuming at first, but by the end, you’ll have a beautiful collection of videos of your family just a few clicks away. 


Opening old book
Male hand opening very old book

Perhaps when an older family member passed away, you inherited a couple of boxes of their things. These could be your grandma’s wedding ring, your grandpa’s old tool kit, or other trinkets. It’s easy to leave them in the boxes, but you should organize them in a different way. 

First, you can take these items to a professional to clean them or do it yourself. The fresh look of these classic heirlooms will make them come to life again. Then, find an area in your home to display these items. You can buy a special glass case, more shelving, or a table for the pieces. 

This creates a conversation starter because of the age and stories that are hidden with these items. It’s also a great way to remember your elders and the heritage that shaped who you are today. 

The Bottom Line

It’s true that we hold memories within photos, videos, and material items. When people pass away, these things become even more important to us, so we should treat them with respect. 

Getting these sentimental items organized is the best way to remember our family memories. You should convert film photos to digital ones, VHS tapes to DVD, and display your heirlooms. Once you do this, viewing these things will be easy and enjoyable for you and the generations to come. 


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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