Friday, September 1, 2017

How I Stay Caught Up Preserving My Pictures and Memories

When I tell people I am pretty consistently caught up on preserving my pictures and memories, their reactions are usually a combination of surprise and envy.  Being caught up is a great feeling, and preserving the story and experiences of your family {benefits you and them} in meaningful, lasting ways.  This is something I truly want to share!  So this month I’ll be sharing with you HOW I stay caught up.  Each #familyhistoryfriday I’ll tell you about my own experience and practices.  By getting a peek into what I do and what methods work for me, I hope you’ll not only be inspired but also come away with some useful tools so that YOU can say, “I’m pretty consistently caught up on preserving my pictures and memories,” and reap the benefits.

I have three keys to avoid getting behind on preserving my photos and memories.  I’ll go into more detail on each one over the next three weeks.  I’ve decided to do something different, too:  I’m going to be actually showing you each of my keys via videos!  Just click these blue links:
  1. {First, I organize my photos. I  will show you my organizational method because I think it makes photos really easy to find and therefore use in a photo album or memory book.  I have learned that this is something that many people aren’t sure how to do, and since it’s really the first step, let’s start there.
  2. {Next, I use a memory-keepingmethod I love (and am addicted to).}  This may seem like an obvious step, but I can’t tell you how many people say, “I can’t preserve my photos and memories because I’m not a scrapbooker.”  Scrapbooking is just one of many methods to memory-keeping– it’s not the only one!  It is absolutely vital to find a method you will love and therefore do.  In the video, we will brainstorm and explore a few different options so you can find something that’s a good fit for you.  
  3. {Last, I DO IT!Again, this may seem like an obvious step, but in order to get something done you have to actually do it.  I recommend not treating it like an onerous chore but instead treating it like the relaxing self-care it is!  (Read more there.)   Peruse the videos at that "I DO IT!" link (particularly this one) to find out what YOU would like, what would make memory-keeping most doable for YOU!  And if you'd like to work with friends to get your memory-keeping done, check out the Our Community and Events tab and join us!

If you haven’t been preserving photos and memories for a while, you may be a little overwhelmed and not even know where to start.  Here are some pointers:
I always encourage people to start with whatever makes the most sense to THEM.  If you’re trying to do something that works for someone else but doesn’t work for you, you probably won’t get very far.  See which of these suggestions sounds the most do-able to you:
  • Start recently.  If you just got back from a trip or if you just had a celebration, your memories will be fresh of that event.  It may be easiest for you to record and document something that recently happened.
  • Start chronologically.  For some people, it may be easiest to start where they left off.  If you were really good at preserving your photos and memories until 2012, you might want to start at 2012 and work forward.
  • Start recently AND chronologically.  Did you see the {Two-In-One Plan} I posted a few weeks ago on #familyhistoryfriday?  It’s a great way to start preserving photos and memories where you are right now AND previous years at the same time.  It’s the perfect catch-up method.  If you didn't catch it then, click that link and check it out.  I think it's a brilliant way to catch up.
  • Start with the nagging.  If there’s something you feel that you need to do before you can start everything else, start there.  Before my mom passed away, she gave me a few boxes of mementos with the charge to do something with them.  I decided to make {a life story book about her} using those mementos.  When I started creating the book, I –of course– still had my usual, everyday photos and memory-keeping to do.  I did both for a while, but my mom’s book was always in the back of my head.  Kinda nagging.  So eventually I dedicated time to focus on that instead, and I found I could get more done on the book when I wasn’t trying to do multiple projects at once.  After I completed the book, going back to my regular memory-keeping was easier, too.
Whatever you do, start easy!

Whichever of those four suggestions makes the most sense to you is probably the one you should do. The most important thing is to start easy.  Choose a do-able project first, something you can finish rather quickly so that you can feel your progress and use its momentum.  If you start with something huge and overwhelming, it’s easy to quit before you begin –or at least before you get very far.  So START EASY!

There are a few more tips on bringing your photos to life {right here}, including how to find time and other ideas on starting, if you need some.

Next week at #familyhistoryfriday we will talk about organizing photos.  Remember I’ll be showing you on video how I organize my photos.  It’s key to how I stay caught up preserving my pictures and memories.  Organizing the photos is the first important step to doing something with them.  

And THAT’S the real goal!  Having accessible photos to see, hold, and enjoy makes all the difference.

Lots of people need help knowing how to get caught up and stay there, so
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This post was originally published at on September 1, 2017, by Jennifer Wise.  More #familyhistoryfriday posts can be found by clicking the hashtag below next to Labels.


  1. Such great tips! I never have time to deal with the pics from a trip right after return, but one thing I have started doing to make this easier is jotting down real-time notes in my Bullet Journal WHILE ON THE TRIP of what we did on which day. It makes it easier to match up those special moments and memories later!

  2. Yes, that would really help! A bullet journal during the trip makes it so much easier to come back to later and still remember those details and the things you want to remember. I have seen people who are way behind with memory-keeping who find it really hard to write anything down about the photos because it's just been too long. Those memories aren't fresh. Great idea, Flossie. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Lots of good ideas here! Thanks so much for linking up with me at A Themed Linkup 46 for Photos and Videos. Shared!

  4. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at A Themed Linkup 47 for WW (Weight Watchers) Recipes from my previous linkup for Photos and Videos.

    1. Oh, that's wonderful! I'm honored. Thank you so much for hosting great linkups and for the feature! Much appreciated!


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