So many photos! How to start?


It’s no mystery that I have lived 

“a while”.

That means a TON of photos before smartphones and clouds let us go digital.

When I lived in my teeny studio flat in 2009 (“the boat”), there was not room for lots of photo albums, so all the photos went into a huge bag with wheels (ok, last week it had 1 wheel. The other bit of wheel may be found somewhere in the belly of the coat closet someday). Then, the photos went to storage and survived 3 more moves.

By the time we get to our retirement home, I will have moved 30 TIMES!

Now that I can’t work out while the Levaquin is still in my system (it can rip tendons) and August has been rainy, this is the perfect project-scanning photos.

I have many favourites I will keep and I do want to have backups in case of fire or hurricane. We are overdue for a hurricane in Houston and it will be easier to grab a 1 Terrabyte (1T) disk and a thin laptop than a 1-wheeled shopping bag.

Doc from “Back to the Future” just fell over. “What’s a TERRABYTE?!” 

20 years ago, a Terrabyte was a mysterious thing the size of a room that held seismic data across town. We used UNIX terminals called “pizza boxes” to do our work. Now, I can hold a Terrabyte in the palm of my hand.

Here’s how I planned to tackle this:

Start with sorting photos by decade:

1. Childhood and before

2. 1980s (largest)

3. 1990s (another big one)

4. 2000s

5. 2010s

Then sort the smallest pile-2010s and scan. Keep any wanted hard copies.

Sort the next smallest pile and scan and so on.

Bit by bit, little by little.

This seems logical, but I started with the 1990’s pile while watching reruns of “Murder She Wrote”. I had to rewind the show several times because I got distracted with the hair and clothes and didn’t know who killed who or why, and kept finding more straggling photos of 1996 and 1991 after the main batch was already scanned.

Interestingly, much healing has taken place since 2009 when any photo of my ex was shredded in anger and sorrow. This time, it just seemed like part of history, so I scanned those too with a sort of “oh, right…that camping trip or that hiking trip…taking the dogs to a nearby lake with alligators…”

Next, I would like to create printed books of journeys & stories at Shutterfly or other. There are several apps that will do this for various prices. I haven’t looked into that yet-ah! A future post!

Um… Why not just make a scrapbook?

Because these photo books are neato! Our friends make one each year and they are stunning and look like a proper book without dried yellow tape, bits of hair, or dried flowers or leather crumbling to the floor.

I’ll keep letters and old childhood birthday cards, because I saw my grandmother’s scrapbook of cards and ticket stubs from the 1920s and loved it.

So, there you have it-a suggestion on how to  deal with such a big task, a warning about trying to watch old mystery shows, healing hearts, and all things crumbly.

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