How To Back Up Your Parent’s Print Photos

How To Back Up Your Parent’s Printed Photos 

I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of earthquakes — like the quakes in Ecuador and Japan — is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a photo of their wedding or of their children.  
In today’s world, now that we have cell phones, taking photos has become almost a daily event.  If one gets harmed or destroyed, we just print out another copy.  Not true though for old family photos that are hanging on the wall, or worse, stuck like glue inside a yellowed photo album.  
And where will you find most of those old photos?  At your parent’s and grandparent’s house — where unfortunately one-of-a-kind can mean just that.  One copy and that’s it! What a horrible thing it would be for them or for you to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound is so easy.
So give this post a quick read, grab the tools you need for the job and let’s get Mom and Dad’s photos squared away once and for all!
As you know, there are two types of photos.  The first are photo prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.  That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this chapter.  The second type of photo is a digital photo – which we help you back up and archive in another post.  
One thing that makes print photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
So your first task is to locate all of your parent’s physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all the albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on the bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.  
If there are a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.
1. Grab a pencil and paper, and go around the house jotting down all the non-digital photos or photo collections you want to secure and their current location.
2. Gather all of the photos that you located. Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to your parents than others.
Take a few moments to look at the photo albums, prints and framed photos and separate them into two different piles.
  • In the first pile, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
  • In the second pile, place photos that you:
    • Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
    • Have numerous other copies of the photo in other locations. Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
    • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
  • You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.
3. Scan Away!
Take the photos in the first pile, scan each one and download it to your computer, placing them in a brand new folder. When you’re finished, make one copy of that complete folder.  Place the original folder in with the other digital photos on your computer.  Then place the copy of the folder into the backup folder you created earlier.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.
4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations
Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.
How To Scan Your Photos
There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other scanner we wanted to mention is one that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   There are several models on Amazon.com.  Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Fixing Faded or Damaged Old Photos
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results.  But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
No matter what method you use to scan and back up your parent’s or grandparent’s old photos, the beaming grins on their faces will tell you exactly how much this — and you — mean to them!
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If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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How To Back Up ALL Your Music – Even Vinyl!

recordplayer

How To Back Up ALL Your Music – Even Vinyl!

How much do you LOVE your music?  For most of us, it’s not just a bunch of CDs and MP3s.  It’s the soundtrack of our lives.  And when you have something that important, you want to make sure that it’s around, safe and sound for a long, long time. 
So let’s take a few minutes, grab that music collection of yours and back it up for safekeeping.  And who knows?  You might even be able to put that amazing vinyl jazz solo you love, on your smartphone!
1. Back Up Your MP3s
Do you have MP3 or other digital music files on your computer, smartphone or other devices? 
On your PC or Mac, create a folder called “Backup Music (dd/mm/yy)” using today’s date.
Grab all of your devices and take a few moments to download, send or save all of your MP3s (or other digital music files) to your computer.  Then put all of those MP3s into the backup folder. 
Locate all of the digital music on your computer’s hard drive.  Leaving the originals where they are, make copies of the music folders and place them into the backup folder.
2. Deal With CDs, Cassettes & Vinyl Albums
Gather all your CDs, Vinyl Albums and Cassettes and set them on a nearby table.
Although all of your music is important, some means more to you than others. 
Separate your CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums into two piles.
  • Pile One: Music you love that you want to copy and preserve digitally for safekeeping.
  • Pile Two:  Music that you:
    • A) Already have in MP3 format.
    • B) Have numerous copies of the album in other locations (double check that this is true).
    • C) Simply don’t care about preserving.
Go ahead and put the music in pile two back where you found it.
3. Convert Your CDs to MP3s
Convert the CDs to MP3s using Windows Media Player (for PCs) or Audacity for Mac.  Just pop in the CD into your computer, open the software and follow the instructions.
Once they’re ripped, save copies of each album to the regular music folder on your computer and to your new backup folder.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to download your favorite songs to your iPod or smartphone.
Buy Paperback Edition         Buy Downloadable Edition
4. Convert Your Cassettes & Albums to MP3s
Here are a few easy ways we’ve found to convert your cassettes or albums to MP3s.
There are several vinyl album to MP3 recorders available including the Crosley Memory Master II 3-Speed Turntable with CD Player/Recorder .  The nice thing about that one is that it converts cassettes and vinyl to CD or to MP3s.  And if you only have cassettes to convert, there is the ION Tape Express
Once you’ve saved copies of your cassettes and vinyl albums, save them to the regular music folder on your computer, to your new backup folder and don’t forget to put your favorites on your smartphone or MP3 player.
And while you’re at it, how about helping mom, dad, grandma or grandpa preserve their old albums while you’re at it.  An MP3 player full of their favorite songs would make a GREAT gift!
Once you’re finished backing up your music, be sure to put a copy of your Backup Music folder somewhere outside of your house, for safekeeping.  Here are a few great places to put it:
  • On a flash drive or hard drive and place it in your local safe deposit box
  • On a flash drive or hard drive in a safe deposit in a pre-determined evacuation location
  • In a password protected file in The Cloud or family web site.
5.  Backing Up Your Music For Safe Keeping
Since we’ve been talking about preserving your music, once you’ve got it all backed up, it only makes sense to keep it safe and sound. 
So save a copy of your Backup Music folder onto a flash drive or a portable hard drive and place it in at least two secure, damage-proof locations, away from home for safekeeping. 
Here are a few suggestions on places to put it:
  • In a watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin. 
  • In a safe deposit box in your own city.
  • In a water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • In a safe deposit in a pre-determined evacuation location
  • On a password protected file in The Cloud or family web site.
Join us here next week on the blog or on our Facebook page when we’ll help you Do One MORE Thing to get  your life up and running.
Or if you’re ready to get EVERY area of your life straightened up, grab a copy of our book The Backup Plan 3.0, now available in the Downloadable Edition at Gumroad  or the Paperback Edition at Amazon.com .
#do1thing #365 #resolution

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…

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Introducing… The Backup Plan 3.0!

 

More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

Bulk orders & customization available for your company/organization. Contact us for more details.

Take This Book To Your Parent's House | Filled with Quick and easy steps your parents can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to them, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

No one will ever forget the footage from Superstorm Sandy of family after family searching through the wreckage of their homes for their keepsakes, only to find their most cherished possessions completely ruined. Don’t let this tragedy happen to YOUR parents. In this book you’ll learn how to help them back up their photos, videos, vinyl albums & address books, how to record and safeguard their vital information, medical history and vital documents. $12.95 Buy now at Amazon.com Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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How To Save Your Vinyl Albums & Cassettes Onto Your Computer

How Much is Your Music Collection Worth? 

How To Save Your Vinyl Albums & Cassettes Onto Your Computer | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comAn even better question is, how much is it worth to you? I think that’s why people would rather part with their high school yearbooks than their music.  It’s special, intensely personal, truly the soundtrack to our lives.  That’s why you want to copy and archive your music the RIGHT way.  Ready to learn how?  The other day I walked into a store and wasn’t paying much attention to anything but finding the item I had stopped in for.  All of a sudden a song began to play on the store’s radio.  I hadn’t even heard what was playing before, but now, my entire mood changed.  It was “Hooked On A Feeling”, which will be forever known as the Dancing Baby song from “Ally McBeal”.  Not only did the music have my attention, but I immediately got a picture of that ridiculous dancing baby in my mind and had a huge smile on my face.  So did half of the people in the store. What is it about music that can bring you such immediate, overwhelming emotions?  It just transports you the place you were when you first heard it or always listened to that song.  And it’s not just the Ooogachucka of the dancing baby, but it’s so many songs, like the theme from the Dancing Waters show at Disneyland Hotel, where we went so many evenings when I was growing up in Orange County.
So the hard part about protecting the music that we’ve amassed over the years isn’t collecting it, it’s making sure that our soundtracks are there for us to listen to and enjoy for years to come.  Just think about the types of music that you probably have in your home right now.  You probably have MP3s that you’ve downloaded from iTunes or other sites for your iPod or MP3 player.  Then, there’s your collection of CDs that you did or did not get around to ripping onto your computer and turning into MP3s.  If you’re over 30, you probably have quite a few cassettes hanging around and you probably even have some vinyl albums or 8 tracks as well that are either yours or have been handed down to you by family members.
Except for the MP3s and, with a little work, the CDs, none of those things are exactly on speaking terms with your computer.  And if you’re like most people, the MP3s are probably all over your computer, in a bunch of different folders.  That doesn’t include the music you’ve downloaded to your phone or to your tablet that you haven’t gotten around to backing up onto your PC or Mac.   And chances are, you and your family members have spent quite a lot of money on those downloaded songs, those CDs, cassettes and whatever else you have your music on.
Losing them, whether physically in a fire or flood, or digitally on a crashed cellphone or computer, would be a nightmare.   People put so much money into their music collections, but very few ever think to back it up!
So let’s gather that music collection of yours and back it up.  Not only will you be able to find your songs when you want them, but you’ll finally be able to hear that amazing jazz solo you have on vinyl on your iPod!
Take Action! 
1. Here CDs, Here Cassettes.   Where Are You Albums?
Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of music you have that you want to secure and their current location.
Using the list you just compiled, locate and gather all of the CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums that you want to secure and set them aside for a moment.
2. What About The Music That’s Already Digital?
Do you have MP3 or other digital music files?
First grab your MP3 player, your cell phone, your iPad or tablets and make sure all of those music files are downloaded to your computer desktop now.
  • Create one new folder on your computer desktop and name it “Backup Music (dd/mm/yy)” with today’s date.
  • Locate all of the digital music on your hard drive that you want to keep safe.  Leave the original files where they are on your computer, but copy each one and place the copies in that new Backup folder.
3. Time To Deal With The Albums & CDs…
Although all of your music is important, some means more to you than others.  Take a few moments to look at your CDs, cassettes and vinyl albums, and separate them into two different piles.
  • In the first pile, place music that you’ll need to copy and save in a digital format, to keep them safe.
  • In the second pile, place music that you:
  • Already have in digital format and could easily find if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
  • Have numerous other copies of the music in other locations.  (be sure that this is actually so before you decide not to copy them)
  • Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
  • You can go ahead and put the music in the second pile away.
4. Convert Your CDs to MP3s
You can convert CDs right on your computer, using your computer’s music software.  For a PC, that would be Windows Media Player.  Just put the CD into your computer and the software will automatically pop up.  Follow the instructions to “rip” your CD.
When your songs are ripped, take your CD out and save the new MP3 files to the music folder on your computer.  We’ll back those up to keep them safe in a few minutes.  But don’t forget to add those new songs to your iPod or MP3 player!
5Convert Your Cassettes & Albums to MP3s
Here are a few easy ways we’ve found to convert your cassettes or albums to MP3s.
There are several vinyl album to MP3 recorders available including the Crosley Memory Master II 3-Speed Turntable with CD Player/Recorder .  The nice thing about that one is that it converts cassettes and vinyl to CD or to MP3s.  And if you only have cassettes to convert, there is the ION Tape Express
Once you’ve saved copies of your cassettes and vinyl albums, save them to the regular music folder on your computer, to your new backup folder and don’t forget to put your favorites on your smartphone or MP3 player.
And while you’re at it, how about helping mom, dad, grandma or grandpa preserve their old albums while you’re at it.  An MP3 player full of their favorite songs would make a GREAT gift!
6. Save Them To Your Computer
Download the new MP3 files to your computer desktop, placing them in a brand new folder.  When you’re finished, make one copy of that complete folder.  Place the original folder in with the other digital music files on your computer.  Then place the copy of the folder into the backup folder you created earlier.
If you don’t have access to a converter or don’t own a computer, then have a relative or friend convert them and store them for you.  And don’t forget to talk to your older relatives about archiving their music.  They might really appreciate having you put the music from their old vinyl, cassettes or CDs on an MP3 player that they can listen to.
7. And Then Archive The Back Up Copies
Where and how you decide to secure and store your own digital music files is up to you.  But here are a few ideas:
  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
Would you like to download these instructions for later?  Just click here and save them to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Archive Your Print Photos

How To Archive Your Printed Photos | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com. I don’t know about you, but the worst part about watching coverage of recent tornadoes and earthquakes is the look on victim’s faces as they pick through the rubble of their homes, trying to find a keepsake.  Even a photo of their wedding or of their children, can mean the difference between being with or without their cherished memories.  What a horrible thing it would be to be left without the pictures you treasure the most, especially when keeping them safe and sound no matter what the disaster is so easy.  Here is a clip of an interview Ann Curry did on MSNBC November 1st with a woman who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.
Ann Curry Interview With Woman Who Lost Her Home In Sandy
Have you been through the family photo album lately?  What shape are your pictures in?  Are they sparkling and colorful or faded and lifeless.  Have you taken the time to scan them so they’re backed up and secure or is the print you’re holding, the only one of its kind?
One thing that makes photos harder to archive than other keepsakes is the simple fact that we get so used to seeing our favorite photos hanging around the house, that we don’t always think to take them off the wall and scan them for safekeeping.  
And it’s not just us.  Relatives are notorious for being the keepers of their part of the family history, to the point where many times they won’t even take a favorite photo out of the frame, let alone, allow you to take it home with you to scan.  The good news is that with the advent of portable wand scanners, you can see that photo any time you want.  The bad news is, you may have to be at Aunt Sadie’s house to use it!   But, not to worry.  We have some fabulous tips and tools that will give you access to all of your favorite pictures and get them easily and painlessly archived for all the members of your family, including dear Aunt Sadie.
As you know, there are two types of photos, digital and print.  In this post we’ll be dealing with prints – basically anything that is a physical photo, whether it’s in a frame, in an album or lurking in the back of a kitchen or desk drawer.  In order to archive those photos, you’ll need to scan them and get them into a digital format so that they can be put on a computer or portable hard drive.
In a few moments we’ll ask you to locate all of your physical photos.  Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.  After that, we’ll get them scanned.
If you have a lot of photos around the house, you’ll probably need some help dealing with all of your pictures.  Why not declare one day “scanning day”.  Invite a bunch of good friends over to help, and if you have as much fun as we think you will, next time have them bring over their own photos to scan.  Do you have kids?  That’s even better – they’ll have a great time helping.
Take Action! 
1. Photos, Oh Photos…  Where Are You?
First, locate and gather all of your physical photos.
Don’t forget to look for all your albums, photos in drawers or files and those hanging in frames on the walls or sitting on your bookshelf.   Then you’ll decide which of those photos you want to archive for safekeeping.
2. Which Ones Do I Scan?
Although all of your photos are important, some mean more to you than others.  Separate your photos into two different piles.
In Pile  1, place photos that you want to copy and save in a digital format, for safekeeping.
In Pile  2, place photos that you:
•Already have in digital format and could easily recopy if the one you’re holding was harmed or destroyed.
•Have numerous  copies of in other locations.  Check to make sure that this is actually true, before you decide not to scan them.
•Simply don’t care enough about to keep it disaster safe.
You can go ahead and put the photos in the second pile back where you found them.
3. Scan Away!
Scan all of the photos in Pile 1 saving them to your computer, as you scan.  If you have a lot of photos, get the kids involved or throw a scanning party for your relatives, and let them help you scan, then give them a copy of the photos they want to take home with them.
If you already have digital photos on your computer, save these scanned photos to a new folder within your photos folder.  For example, ScannedPrintPhotos, so you’ll know at a glance which photos are the ones you scanned.
4. Make Sure You Back Up ALL Your Photos To At Least Three Locations
Once you have finished scanning, copy that folder containing all of your photos — the digital ones and the ones you just scanned and save it with a different name, like Photo Archive Backup, with today’s date.   Place a copy of your backup folder in at least three different locations.  Here are a few suggestions of safe places to store them:
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
•On a flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
•In a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
•You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution or only solution, since you have no control over these sites and could lose all of your data without any warning.
•If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.com.  Not only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
If you need more help scanning your photos — or if you have delicate or color challenged photos that need a bit more attention, here are a few tips.
 
How To Scan Your Photos
There are several great ways to scan your photos.  Just to clarify, a scanner is different than a copy machine, because a scanner makes an exact digital copy of a photo.  It’s a world of difference from a photo copy, which is usually pretty bad.  In many cases a scan of a photo is better than the original.  And the nice thing about them is that once you scan a photo, you can save it onto your computer, share it with family and friends or use photo software to correct faded color, repair damage or otherwise restore old photographs.
Most printers available now are three or four in one printers, that scan as well as print.  You can also scan your photos with a dedicated flatbed scanner (all it does is scan).
Or you can scan your photos with a portable wand scanner, as we mentioned earlier.  Portable wand scanners, like the VuPoint Wand Scanner, have come a long way.  They run on batteries or are rechargeable and save anything you scan onto an SD card.  From there, you can download the scans/photos directly to your computer, via a USB cord, or you can pop the SD card out of the scanner and pop it into your computer to archive your scans.
The best part about having a portable wand scanner is that you can scan photos, documents, even things like marriage certificates or historical documents by swiping the scanner over it, instead of having to take all of those documents home and putting them, one at a time, through your scanner.  It’s especially good, like we said, for scanning photos at relative’s homes.  If they don’t want the photo leaving the house, just take the scanner over and scan the photos you want.   Amazingly, if you’re dealing with a fragile photo, you can even scan it right in the frame.  Or if you have delicate photos in a photo album – have you ever tried to peel photos out of an album without damaging them – you can simply open the book and sweep the scanner over the page.  Then all you have to do is open the scanned page and crop the photos apart, saving each one as a separate photo.  Photos archived, originals safeguarded!
One other method of scanning that we wanted to mention is the Kodak Personal Scanner.  It’s a bit different than the others, because you can feed photos into it and it scans them as they pass through an inch thick scanning bed.  The interesting part is that it comes with an attachment that feeds negatives and slides into the scanner and – are you ready for this – actually makes a digital copy of the photo, just as if you had taken it to the photo processor.  We actually had some slides that someone had given us, and since we never used slides, we didn’t have the equipment to look at them.  With the Kodak Scanner, all we did was feed the slide into the scanner and suddenly we had full color, beautiful photos from the sixties, that looked like they were processed yesterday.  Absolutely amazing!
If you don’t have access to a scanner, then have a relative or friend scan them for you.  Scanning is by far the cheapest and most effective way of safeguarding your important photos.  If you can’t get them scanned, go to a copy shop like Fed Ex-Kinko’s and have copies made of all your photos, using non-acid paper.  This will ensure that they will last longer and will fade less as they age.
Now that you know what you’re doing, scan all the loose prints that you want to preserve.  The higher the dpi the better the quality, so use 300 or 600 on your oldest, most treasured photos.  Then save the scans to your computer to back them up.
Once you have all of your photos or documents scanned and saved, look through and find any that are damaged, faded or yellowed and see if you can edit them to get them into better shape.  
A lot of people run right for their favorite photo software programs — like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Adobe is definitely one of the best and we’ve used it on our own photos with great results.  But the problem is, there are so many tools within it to fix your photos, that it can be a little difficult, not to mention daunting, to use.   One day, Mom and I had had it, trying to get the results we wanted on some of our pictures that needed a lot of color correction.  So we began to look for a way to get the correction we wanted in the same few steps (and I mean FEW), whether the pictures were simply faded or way out of whack.
I’m happy to say we found it.  Or rather created it!  We found five steps that work to color correct nearly any photo of any age, using Photoshop Elements and put them into our book Photo Finish.  It’s downloadable for a limited time.  Below is one of the photos that we edited using those five steps. That’s me at Disneyland when I was about four.  If you have a lot of pictures from the fifties to the eighties that have turned strange shades, download a free copy of our book.  
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If you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to fix your photos yourself, we’ve found one scanner that stands out among all the others in the marketplace, for color correction. It’s the Epson Perfection line of scanners, with Epson’s Easy Photo Fix software.   Do you have any of those photos from the seventies and eighties that ended up a muddled brown-orange mess?   All you have to do is use the Auto Fix setting on the scanner and then scan your seventies photos.  The scanner corrects the color while it scans.  Truly amazing!  
If you’d like a copy of the instructions in this post, click here to download the PDF Version to your computer.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
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Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

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How To Archive Your Digital Photos

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How To Archive Your Digital Photos

With digital photography as inexpensive and easy as it is today, chances are that you have more photos of your family, friends and the special moments of your life than ever before.  If you’re like most people, all of those photos are sitting on your computer, in a bunch of different folders.
Or worse, hundreds of them are sitting in your camera, just waiting to be accidentally erased.  And what about your regular print photos – the kind you have in photo albums or frames?  At least the digital photos have a chance of being copied and backed up in a few different locations.  But if those one-of-a-kind family photos are destroyed, they’re gone forever. Digital or print, all it takes is one fire, flood, fried hard drive, or hacked Facebook account and all of those memories are gone, along with a huge piece of your family’s history.  Before we start backing up your current photos, here are a few tips on ways to safeguard all the photos you’ll be taking in the future.
Do you regularly pictures with your phone?  If you do, how often do you download them to your computer for printing or safekeeping?  Everyone should get into the habit of downloading their new pictures and videos every few days.  Dropbox is a great tool for this.  It’s a free application/web based file box that syncs up the photos and documents on your smartphone or tablet with your computer.   All you have to do is set up and download their app on your iPhone, Android smartphone, tablet, iPad or iPod Touch.  Then save your new photos to your Dropbox folder and they’ll be waiting for you at home on your computer.
Another great option is to take your favorite photos and make them into a special keepsake, like a smartphone case.  Casetify is so wonderful at this.  All you have to do is upload your photo using the Casetify app and they’ll turn your picture into a beautiful but tough smartphone case for your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone.
Now that you’ve got your smartphone photos under control, how about your digital camera?  Exactly how many photos are on your SD card right now?  Yeah, that’s what we thought.   So before you get started, be sure to download all of the pictures from your cameras.  And while you’re at it, download any videos lurking on your video camera too.  We’ll take care of those in another blog post.
Take Action! 
Your Mission: If You Choose to Accept It…
…is to make all of your treasured photos completely accessible during a disaster, emergency evacuation, computer or Internet meltdown. Just follow the steps below to locate all of your important photos, scan or copy them, and store them in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.
1.  Grab Your Cameras
If you’re like most people, your digital photos are in one of two places – sitting on your computer, in a bunch of different folders.  Or worse, sitting in your camera or phone, just waiting to be accidentally erased.
So if you have any photos on your cameras or phones, go get them now and download them to your computer, saving them to the folder where you normally store them.

 

2.  Ready For Backup
Since you’re already on your computer, let’s back up all of your digital photos.
  • Create one new folder on your computer desktop and name it Backup Photos (dd/mm/yy) with today’s date.
  • Locate all of the digital photos that you want to keep safe.  Leave the original files where they are on your computer, but copy each one and place the copies in your new Backup folder.
If you need instructions on copying and moving files and folders on your computer, you’ll find them on our post How To Back Up Your Data or if you’d rather, just download the How-To Sheet.
When you’re through copying and pasting your folders into the Backup Folder, make sure that there is a copy of your folders in the original location as well as the new location.
3.  How To Get Your Digital Photos To Download Themselves
By the way, if you regularly have trouble remembering to download your pictures from your phone and camera watch the video at the beginning of this post, to learn how to get your camera and phone to download photos themselves.  Here are two things you can do that will really help.  For your phone, go right now and install the Dropbox app.  It’s a free app that will send every photo you take with your phone directly to your computer.
As for your camera, simply get a Wi-Fi enabled camera like the Samsung Smart Wi-Fi Camera or the Eye-Fi smart memory card for your old camera.  Snap a photo and it arrives on your computer.  No muss, no fuss.
4.  Safely Storing Digital Photos
Where and how you decide to secure and store your photos is up to you.  But here are a few ideas.  If your photos are digital, you can place them:
  • On a flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your plastic evacuation bin.
  • Place the flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • Place the flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • Place the photos on a password-protected online file repository or on the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
You can also save an extra copy of your photos on Flickr or another internet photo service.  But this really shouldn’t be your long-term solution, or only solution.   As much as we all love Internet sharing sites, you actually have no control over them.  If the company were to go out of business, or if their servers were to crash, you could lose all of your lose data without any warning.  If you really want to keep photos on a secure site that you can share with your family, try iMemories.comNot only do they have great servers with outstanding redundant backup capability, but they can even put your photos on DVD for you, providing an extra layer of safety.
5.  Safely Storing Photo Prints
Now that your digital photos are safe and sound, what about your print photos?  Do they need to be archived too?  Then take a minute or two while you’re thinking about it and read our post or download our PDF on How to Archive Your Print Photos.
If your print photos are already in order here are a few ideas to safeguard them.  Try placing them in:
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • In a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin. Only place the photos that you actually need to have with you, in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of photos in your safe deposit box, then don’t take any copies with you that you would worry about, if lost.
How To Back Up Your Digital Photos | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.If you live in a location with frequent disasters, like hurricane or tornado country, you should probably consider a permanent solution to safeguard your photo prints, like putting your photos in acid free boxes inside a watertight Rubbermaid Roughneck bin, or glass containers, and then placing them at least a foot or two off the ground, whenever your cherished photos might be in danger.  For example an impending hurricane, flooding or even the arrival of tiny, curious grandchildren.  If you are in a location where flooding can occur, store your photos in the driest place, at least a foot or two above any previous water marks.
Depending on the situation it might even be a good idea to move those bins to a storage space or to a friend’s or relative’s home for safekeeping until the situation passes.
Want to download these instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF version.
Join us here next week on the blog or on our Facebook page when we’ll help you Do One MORE Thing to get  your life up and running.
Or if you’re ready to get EVERY area of your life straightened up, grab a copy of our book The Backup Plan 3.0, now available in the Downloadable Edition at Gumroad  or the Paperback Edition at Amazon.com .
#do1thing #365 #resolution
 Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music.  The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations.     $12.95   Buy now at Amazon.com    Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

Don’t Disappear From Your Own Family Album

Don't Disappear From Your Own Family Album| You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com.

Don’t Disappear From Your Own Family Album

Have you ever noticed that there’s always one person in the family who volunteers to take all the pictures?  They’re usually the same people who really hate having their picture taken.
You may have thousands of photos of your family, but does your family have photos of you?  Don’t laugh!   If you’re always the one behind the camera, make sure you give other people a turn at taking the pictures.  You don’t want your kids having to describe “what Grandma looked like”.
Now if you’re guilty of this particular “indiscretion” you probably think you have a pretty good reason.  Your left earlobe is longer than your right.  Or maybe that one side of your hair always pops up.  
You see, we had a few people in our family who did NOT want their pictures taken under any circumstances.  A few of them just didn’t like the way they looked on film and tried to avoid pictures as much as possible.  Any time someone so much as removed a lens cap they darted out of the room.  Even so, we managed to get a few snapshots of them every year at Christmas and birthdays and christenings.  they looked wonderful on film, beautiful actually – especially to the people who loved and miss them.  But at least we have a couple of hastily snapped pictures from every occasion.
The other person had an excellent reason not to have her picture taken.  She was born with a birthmark on her face.  Not as big a deal today as it was when she was young.  Back then people stared at her and derided her from the time she was born until she was old enough not to care what people thought.
But film was a different thing.  We have a few pictures of her, carefully posed so that only one side of her face shows and we cherish the photos that we have.  But we have nothing spontaneous, nothing where we’re playing with my Barbies together, or getting off a ride at Disneyland.  Her line would always be the same “I don’t want to spoil the picture, so why don’t I just take it”.  I don’t have a picture of my beloved Grandma holding me for the first time, or of her opening her gifts on Christmas morning.  We can’t even imagine how she must have felt, going through what she did.  But every time we go through the photo album, Mom and I can’t help think about the photos we don’t have of her – or with her.
So do yourself and your family a favor.  If you don’t really like having your picture taken, have someone you trust, who understands your photographic shortcomings, take a bunch of photos of you and the kids or grandkids and then choose at least three or four out of each gathering, that you can live with.  Or if you have one of those people in your family who are always darting out to the kitchen when the camera comes out, strategically place people with digital cameras or videos around the room, just to take a bunch of candid shots, then capture your person when he or she isn’t thinking about anything but having fun.
And that goes for videos too. Make sure that your photo and video history includes all your family members talking, laughing, telling stories and enjoying each other, media shy or not.
Years from now, no one is going to care if your left earlobe is longer than your right or that side of your hair always pops up.  What they’ll want to see – or wish they could see – is you.
Trust me.  Your grandkids will thank you for it.
 
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
blogendsignature

 

Buy Paperback Edition $24.99         Buy Downloadable Edition $8.00
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone
How To Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos
How To Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Learn how to put an ICE Contact on every type of smartphone in just minutes with The ICE My Phone Kit! Paperback Edition $14.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $5.00 Buy Now  Read more about it
_________________________________________________

The Book Inspired By The Blog. The Backup Plan 3.0

The Backup Plan 3.0 | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep everything that’s important to you, safe, sound and accessible. rnn10.wordpress.com

The Backup Plan 3.0, is filled with quick, easy, 5 minute steps you can take right now, to get everything that’s important to you organized, safe, sound and accessible.  Each section covers a different area, from backing up and fixing family photos, home movies and music, to vital documents, medical and financial information and even getting your digital life in order.  This special Bonus Edition includes 7 downloadable Bonus Books.  Paperback Edition $24.99   Buy now at Amazon.com  Downloadable PDF Edition $8.00  Buy Now       Read more about it

How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music | Filled with Quick and easy steps you can take right now, to keep your photos, videos and music, safe, sound and accessible. www.getyourstufftogether.com

I don’t know about you, but the most important keepsakes in our house are our old family photos, followed closely by our home movies and music. The problem is, grabbing piles of photo albums and all of the picture frames off the walls is hard to do if you have to get out of the house quickly. With How To Back Up Your Photos, Videos and Music, you’ll learn quick, easy steps to back up your print/digital photos, home movies, cassettes, vinyl albums and archive them in multiple, disaster proof locations. $12.95 Buy now at Amazon.com Read more about it

 

Raise Money & Save Lives!  Free Customized Editions of our books make a great fundraiser for your organization, companyor an extra stream of income for you.  

Your Business Continuity Plan May Be Missing Something…  Like your employees, for instance?  If your city is struck by a tornado, earthquake or other disaster, it isn’t just your company that will be affected – so will your employees.  That’s why you need to make sure they’re as prepared for an emergency as YOU are.  Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  Read More About It

Like Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Twitter

Watch Our How-To Videos On YouTube

Join Us On Pinterest

Free Resources

How To Make A Home Inventory

How To Make A Home Inventory

How To Make A Home Inventory | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.comClose your eyes for a moment.   Picture the room you’re sitting in, in your mind.  Picture each item, focusing especially on the items that mean the most to you or have the most monetary value.  When you’re done open your eyes.   Did you miss anything?   If you’re like most people, no matter how certain you were that you remembered everything, you still missed a lot of things that you would want to replace. 
And even if you did pretty well, do you know off the top of your head what items were still under warranty, what was insured and for how much?   In other words, if this hadn’t been an exercise, but an insurance agent or a police officer writing down a list of your valuables after a burglary or a hurricane, would you have been happy with the list you made?
I didn’t think so.  Memory is a wonderful thing, but it can be affected by many factors, like stress, trauma and fatigue – exactly the things that happen during an emergency.  That’s why putting together a list of your treasured or valued objects while they’re sitting in your living room and still in great condition is a MUCH better idea.
And while we’re at it, that reminds me of something else we all have to deal with.  I don’t know about you, but to us, it seems like there’s a new cellphone, computer, or gadget of some kind out in the stores every day.  
Every time you decide to plunk down your money to buy one, that new toy comes with more cords, software and manuals than you’ve ever seen.  And if you decided to spring for the protection plan too, that hits the mailbox a few days later.  With just a few new toys, you can easily end up with a folder full of paper.
Who can keep up with that?
YOU can!  And very easily, too.  In the Take Action steps below, we’re going to create a Home Inventory.  Just go through the steps, and decide room by room what items to include.  In fact if you have kids or grandkids in the house, this is a great project for them.  Once you decide which items to include, send them off on a scavenger hunt, list in hand along with a digital and video camera and have them take photos of each item.  Then when they’re done, enter each item along with its information into our downloadable Home Inventory Form, and you’re done.  
And if you want a copy of these instructions for later, just  click here to download the PDF Version.
Take Action  
1. Download Our Home Inventory List
Click here to grab a copy of our Home Inventory Form,  or if you already own our book The Backup Plan 3.0, you’ll find copies in the book and in the downloadable forms.
2. Grab Your Cameras & a Pencil
Go get your video camera, your digital camera, your list and a pencil and begin walking through each room of your home.  Start with the living room, usually home to the most expensive electronic equipment.
3. Document All the Info You Can Find
For each valued item, (electronics, furniture, cars, art, jewelry or any other items that would be expensive to replace or repair),  fill in a short description, the manufacturer, serial number and any other information you know about it.
If you have a copy of your warranty information, or original purchase receipts for any of the valued items, note the information on them on the Home Inventory List, then put those documents on the side until Step 6.
4. Your Chance To Play Spielberg
As you stop at each item, take a digital photo of it, to show its current condition.  If the item is damaged in a disaster, you’ll have proof of the item’s original condition to give to the claims adjuster. It will also remind you what the item looked like, if it ever needs to be replaced
5. Spielberg Revisited
Once you’re finished with the room, grab your video camera and do a quick video tour.  At the beginning of the videotape, clearly state today’s date and the room you’re photographing.  And while you’re taping, be sure to show the general condition of the room as well as your valued items.
6. Paperwork, paperwork
Gather all of the warranties, protection plans, certificates of insurance, provenance papers and receipts that you have found, and put them in the same location.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a file folder or a section inside your safe.  Just make sure that every time you purchase a new item that comes with any of this paperwork, that you put it in the same place.
7. Now for safekeeping…
Print, scan or make three copies of the Home Inventory List, the walking tour photos, the video and the warranties, receipts and other documents that you located earlier and store them in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.
And that’s it!  Just follow the steps and you’re done.  No more having to remember every single thing in your house.  Just be sure to update your list every six months.  Or if you watch a lot of QVC or HSN, every four months…
Want to download a copy of the instructions for later?  Click Here to download the PDF Version.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later…
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