Concierge Archiving Services

If you love a good project and tackling that cluttered photo closet (or desktop computer) doesn’t scare you – go ahead and dive right in! After all, you have a personal connection to all those memories and you know exactly what you want to keep or toss. Here are a few Pro Tips for those of you who are managing a photo organizing project on your own:








Begin by sorting based on subject, event, or date. Choose a categorizing method that makes the most sense for you. Think ahead to how you and your family will want to access these memories in the future. If you’re working with printed photos – make piles or use small bins. If you’re organizing digital files – create folders and name them based on your preferred sorting method.

Toss or delete multiple or redundant images from the same event. After all, do you really need to keep 26 images from little Chloe’s birthday party? Also, eliminate duplicates or poor quality shots where the lighting or subject matter isn’t up to par. The goal here, is to refine your photo collection to only the “best of the best” images/photos.

Decide what you want to do with the physical photos and memorabilia long term. Do you simply want your photo closet more organized? Do you want to digitize all of your printed photographs? Do you want to make photo books for family members? Knowing your end goal, will help you make decisions on how to complete your project.










Let the local expert do the heavy lifting

Sure, you could scan your family photographs one by one on a home scanner, but do you really want to give up your weekends for the next 6 months?

Trusted local photo experts (like us), have the equipment, training, and professional experience to manage this portion of the project for you. We’ll carefully digitize, color correct and save your printed memories as digital files. Once your memories are in a digital format – you have countless ways to share them with family members and make fun photo creations with them.

PRO TIP: Determine which family members would like a copy of your digital files – not only today but also in the future. It’s easiest and most affordable to order multiple copies of your files at the time of digitizing. Think about your children, your siblings, your parents, etc.







Hiring a Professional

If a project like this just isn’t for you or if you’re managing an extreme amount of memorabilia – then you may want to consider hiring a professional to help sort, name, and organize the items. Our archiving team can help you get started and advise you on the best way to approach your project. We also have relationships with local professional organizers and archivists who can assist as well.










Take pictures out of albums, frames and boxes so you are working with only loose prints. Choose the photos you want to keep. Remove duplicates and poor-quality shots. Keep only the most meaningful images and toss the rest if you are working to downsize or eliminate clutter. At this point, you could stop and move on to Step #3.



If you want to get your photo collection truly organized, then continue sorting. Separate pictures into piles by subject, people, theme or year. Whatever makes most sense to you. Then, label those piles in chronological order. This will pay off when you move on to Step #4 and eventually share copies of your images with family members. Advanced sorting will make specific photos easy to locate on a computer or device later on.














Box up your printed memorabilia and bring them to a trusted local photo preservation expert (like us!) for scanning. The key word here is “local”. We never recommend shipping your most precious possessions across the country! Each print will be professionally digitized and saved as high-resolution JPG files. We can even create labeled folders to keep your sorting efforts intact. Your newly digitized images will then be safely saved to a media device of your choice, a cloud storage location and/or to any other location that you request. 











At this stage, you’ll have various options for what to do with your digital image files – including how many copies to share. This is the fun part! Think about who would like a set of the scanned images – even if they may not completely appreciate them today. (IE: children and teens.) Once the images are scanned, duplicate media copies are extremely affordable – so be generous and share freely!


Your story is meant to be shared – and now is the perfect time to do it! Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect those photos of your grandparents, your high school prom and that family vacation to the Grand Canyon. 


In 50 years, will you be able to reminisce? Will your grandchildren know if they’ve inherited your good looks? Will you be able to show them your childhood home? The answer to these questions is largely dependent on how you store and archive printed images today. After all, we’re not simply talking about pictures and home movies. We’re talking about your childhood, your wedding day, your entire family history – your life.










Storing a digital version of your memories takes far less space in your home. Plus, no more digging through closets and flipping through albums looking for a single photo! Archived images are easily searchable in their digital state.










Aging photo albums, boxes of prints and home movies are at risk for deterioration, misplacement and destruction in their current state. Archiving is also insurance for loss due to water damage, fire and other environmental hazards.












Once your photos and home movies are digitized, the files can easily be viewed on almost any device.











Each and every family member can have their very own digital copy of the files. This is especially helpful in the case of a divorce or death in the family.











The digital files can easily be shared with family members around the world. Email specific files and store your new digital library in the cloud so that others can access them. For redundancy, we recommend ordering multiple copies of the digitized images for children, grandchildren or siblings.



Make a plan for your story. How do you plan to preserve all the meaningful events in your life? If you don’t have one, don’t worry. We provide tools, training and assistance so you can tell your story for generations to come. We’ll pair your lifestyle needs with the right photo management solutions, making it easy to keep up with your collection as it grows. Archiving is an important but never-ending process, and The Print Refinery is here to help you preserve your family’s history for future generations to enjoy and remember.