Bottom Line: Reserving family memories for generations to come

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 7:21 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - Many of us have that box in the back of a closet or in the attic—full of old family photos and memorabilia. And it sits there for years because we’re just not sure what to do with it or where to begin. Consumer Reports reveals some easy and fun tips to help preserve your family’s memories for generations to come.

Start with what you think is most important. Find the photos and the documents that are really going to mean something to you and to other people years from now.

CR says it’s important to label everything lightly with a soft pencil. Add every detail you know to the back edges of photos … including names, dates, and locations. You may also want to interview the oldest person in your family to help you fill in any blanks and get the stories behind the photos.

Next, it’s time to restore whatever pictures you can. To help futureproof your memories, CR says to use acid-free materials when you’re storing photos and documents. This will help keep them from degrading over time.

Also, protect your items from bright or direct light. Keep them at a consistent, comfortable temperature and avoid humidity. Don’t store them in your attic or basement. Keep photos clean using a soft brush or lint-free cloth.

You can also make digital copies from the originals using a scanner or even your smartphone. Then store those files in a few safe places, like your computer, an external hard drive, and the cloud.

If you need more help, Consumer Reports says some museums, historical societies, libraries, and even churches may be able to offer advice on photo preservation as well.

“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site

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