Let's say that you came across a shoebox full of old loose photographs or a few inherited family photo albums when you were in the process of decluttering your home. Let's also assume that you have made the conscious decision to have these pictures scanned by a Professional Photo Organizer in order to share them with your friends and family. The question will inevitably arise: what do you do with the original photos after they've been digitized? In the spirit of downsizing and getting rid of things that take up space in your home, your first thought may be to throw them away. The photos already on a flash drive, your cloud drive, and your computer - why would you need to keep the originals? The original photos are the best backup, especially if you use a cloud sync service to view/share your digital photos (i.e., Apple Photos, Google Photos, etc.). There are few worse things than accidentally deleting a photo on a synced drive (meaning it gets deleted EVERYWHERE) and realizing that you have no way of getting it back!Storage hardware and cloud software failure are rare occurrences, but they can be devastating. If you experience a power surge that damages your computer or the cloud software you use shuts down, you are really going to regret throwing the originals away! It is also important to note that hard drives have the potential to fail within a year, and most external hard drives only last around 3 years before they start experiencing data loss.Destructive edits made to a photo (i.e., cropping, lighting/color adjustments, etc.) can be difficult or impossible to undo, especially if it is the only digital copy you have access to. The original copy is always going to be your best reference if edits go awry!The original, printed photos are format-less. That is to say, you don't have to worry about "paper technology" changing as we advance further into the digital world. These "analog" photos are going to be able to be viewed by anyone at any time without the restrictions of cross-compatibility or file format.Using some sturdy archival boxes and labeled divider tabs as you sort through your photos can optimize your storage space! This means you can still maintain your goal of downsizing and clearing space! However, in order for this to be most effective, proper storage practices need to be used. Photos should not be stored in the attic, basement, garage, or anywhere where temperature and moisture levels fluctuate. By the way, you don't have to keep ALL your printed photos - just the ones that you consider the best and most meaningful! If you have already sorted through your photo collection and removed the blurry and "finger-in-frame" photos before they were scanned, finding the space in your home to store the originals of your favorite photos should be a non-issue. Also keep in mind that having photos you took on your phone printed is a great idea, as long as you create space on walls, in albums, or in photo books for them.
We cant emphasize enough how important it is to review your will and insurance policies, reassign your Power of Attorney if necessary, and meet with your financial advisor(s) at the beginning of this decade. Ive changed my will three times, and I am 54 as of this writing. Life really does whiz by, and so do all the changes. About one month before your life insurance policy renews, put it on your calendar to meet with your agent. You are not bothering themyoure making their DAY! Regarding your financial advisors or broker, this is another helper you dont want to sit by the phone for, hoping they will call you. They typically only call you when they need you to sign an updated form or something new or unpleasant is about to happen with one of your funds (maybe), and theyll need your verbal permission to move your money into another account. Youll need to be proactive, checking in and scheduling your appointments, even if theyre just phone calls. If youre not certain how to properly access your statements and information online, make sure you get help from your advisor to get in and look, together. They might be the expert here, but in the end, youre in charge, and its YOUR money.Since you dont usually get to choose how youre going to leave this world, you DO get to choose how youll be, um...stored...after you die. In the jar or in the box? Ashes at sea or on a golf course? Do you want to be part of a trees seeds? I want my ashes scattered in Ireland, a trip Ill pay for, for my kids to take my ashy bits and put them into the Irish Sea. Its where my ancestors are from, but thats not the point. Its where I want my ashes to go. I love the ocean, and I love Ireland. And I love my kids. I want them to get on a plane to Dublin, pop into a pub, order beer and a big bowl of (Irish) stew, and talk about me. Im sure theyll regale the locals about what an awesome adventurer I was, and of course, a stellar mother. Then theyll take me to the sea, say a few words, and after checking wind conditions, toss my remains into the water. It's not pleasant to discuss or think about, but it is reality. I know this. We all do, really, we just dont talk about it. If you cant talk about it, write about it. When you pass away, there are going to be questions and uncertainty, let alone grief, from those who you loved you. They will need to understand your wishes as they are dealing with the loss, so it is truly helpful to record the answers to these questions, at the minimum. Make sure you give your executor or executrix this information sooner than later, and keep a copy for yourself.My name is ___________________, and this is what I want done with my: possessions: ________________________________________________________________ money: ____________________________________________________________________ funeral: ____________________________________________________________________ photos: ____________________________________________________________________ digital rights: ________________________________________________________________If you are looking for an incredibly easy tool to use, check out the Peace of Mind Planner: Important Information about My Belongings, Business Affairs, and Wishes, by Peter Pauper Press Inc. It has easy-to-use forms for final thoughts and hopes for you to convey to your family or anyone you will someday leave behind who loves you.This article was adapted from the book Chronological Order: The Fine Print for a Large Life, by Jill B. Yesko and Laurean Kile.
Downsizing can be a major turning point in someones life. Whenever someone moves, they have to pack up everything in their home, interview movers and get estimates for their services, and deal with the stress from shifting their current life to a new location. Downsizing is even harder! Not only are they dealing with the stress from moving, but they are also moving into a smaller space which adds several new challenges to the process. If someone is downsizing, they are probably leaving a home they have inhabited for years. Also, they may have to let go of several cherished items or pieces of furniture in their home to make sure everything fits in their new space. This emotional time can be very taxing! Did you know that accessing and interacting with your pictures and photo albums can make this experience actually less stressful? It can, and heres how:Use Those Pictures Like a Blueprint!When you start to think about downsizing, take a look around your home. Which pieces of furniture display your favorite decorations? Do you have your countertop items arranged in a specific way? What about the curio cabinet that you spent HOURS arranging just so? You have spent the time to make your house into a home. You have organized everything to make sense to you. But now that you're moving, you may feel that you have to start all over again. Not so! By using pictures, you can make the downsizing process go much smoother.Use pictures like a blueprint! Go around your home and find every location that has a specific organizational structure, then take a picture of these locations. Now that you have the images saved, you can recreate your home in your new space! Because you took the time to document how things were arranged throughout the house, you can save time in the new space when you unpack everything. You will not have to second-guess yourself when you try to remember how your curio cabinet was set up; you have the blueprint!Archive your Memories!Another way pictures can help in the downsizing process is by helping you remember the past! When you are downsizing, you may have to let go of items and furniture you have owned for years. But that doesnt mean that you have to forget about them! Before letting anything go, take a picture! (Itll last longer) You can also take photos of entire rooms to remember how they were arranged in your home. And why stop there? Take a picture of your homes outside and any beautiful views you can see from your windows.Once you have collected all of the photos you want from your home, you can compile them into a photo album. By using programs like Mpix, Mixbook, or Shutterfly, you can have a beautiful album created, which you can then show to your loved ones or keep to help you remember your time at your previous house. If you are not sure how to create a digital album, we are always here to help you get it done!Downsizing can be a crazy time. But you can make it less stressful by utilizing pictures to your advantage. Use photographs to make your life easier when you are settling into your new home. When you move spaces, you don't have to forget about your past. Photos can provide reminders of how things were, and you can look back with fond memories while looking forward with positivity.