Are Your Photos Safe from Disaster?

If you were faced with evacuating your home because of an impending natural disaster, what would be the most important items to take with you? Experts recommend thinking of the 4 P’s: People, Pets, Papers and Photos. For most people just taking care of the people, creatures and pets is more than they can fathom. Then planning for how to evacuate their photo collection is just overwhelming. With a plan, your precious family photos could be safely secured and out of harms way. Your collection could be organized, digitized and safely secured. But what if the thought of accomplishing this goal seems overwhelming? Don’t despair; help is in your neighborhood through Save Your Photos Day,  “Save Your Photos Day is dedicated to offering individuals the opportunity to connect through local community events, activities and resources that highlight what they can do to safeguard their photos and treasured memorabilia before disasters or accidents occur. “

A Colorado member of the Save Your Photos Alliance, Picture This Organized is participating in a free community event on September 27, held at 2 locations in the Denver Metro area, that includes workshops and free on-site scanning. For details on this event, click here for press release. “The planning and organizing that goes into these preservation activities actually allows people to enjoy their photos and other memorabilia in the process of preparing the preservation plan-it’s a win-win” says Colorado SYPA member Deena Coutant of DigiDeena Consulting.

For our Denver-based readers, if you’re feeling anxious about the safety of your photo collection, stop by the Save Your Photos Alliance event on September 27. You’ll go home inspired and encouraged with a plan to protect your photos and memorabilia.  If you live outside the Denver area, visit to find the community event nearest you.


Giving Memorabilia for the Holidays

"Remembering Mary" collage
“Remembering Mary”
by artist Susan J. Maxwell

Webster defines memorabilia as “things that are remarkable and worthy of remembrance; things that stir recollection or are valued or collected for their association with a particular field or interest.” The hand-made card, note, child’s art project, these items that connect to our memories hold immense value. Throwing or giving them away can feel disrespectful and cold-hearted, so we save them, and save them…and save them. Our storage rooms and households become over-crowded and cluttered. So what’s a family to do?

Consider making a gift using your treasured items.

  • For three-dimensional items like trophies and awards, you can put them in a shadow box to be hung on the wall or use a decorative box purchased from a craft or gift store and given like a treasure box.  A quick search online reveals many shadow box sizes are ready-made and available. Be sure to measure your items carefully (height, width, and depth) to be sure they fit before ordering. Also, check the website return policy and save the shipping materials until you’re sure the shadow box will work for your items.
  • For documents, photos, and drawings, you can make a collage to be hung on the wall.  Scan the originals and use the copies for the collage.  Glue the items onto foam board and cover with decoupage to seal and protect it.
  • If you have artwork from your child, you can scan or photograph the masterpieces and put them into an album.  Label the artist and be sure to use the date.  A digital photo frame can be a quick way to review the artwork daily and make your child feel honored. Flip-Pal is a great mobile scanner for digitizing large and even 3D items, like large paintings and medals. You can purchase one online or through me. (Check with me as I may have a special price available!)

Be sure to take a picture before and after to document the construction of your gift! Contact me if you need additional tips or help.

Photo collage created by Susan J. Maxwell.