In your home, there are likely boxes upon boxes of old, finger-smudged, bent family photos, from vacations long past, holidays of yesteryear and special occasions like graduations, birthdays and anniversaries. Along with the old pictures are their negatives (and maybe home movies), and you could likely kill an entire day (or longer) enjoying the memories before shoving everything back into the boxes, where they’ll be discovered again years later.

If you’ve kept up with technology, you have the equivalent of those dust-filled boxes as files in your phone or computer, dating to the dawn of the digital camera.

Reminiscing with these photos can make for a nostalgic afternoon, but if you don’t have them backed up or preserved, these memories will fade when you or your close relatives die. Consider preserving these photos by scanning and uploading them as digital files. Hard copies can be kept safe in a photo album with acid-free sleeves and sheet protectors and stored in a cool, dry place. Creating scrapbooks can be an informative family activity, and the books can act as lovely gifts or keepsakes for younger relatives.

For those with precious or compelling photos, you might have them professionally printed and hung in your home because pictures are meant to be seen and enjoyed. By making your photos a priority, memories will last for generations to come.

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