How We Keep Our Memories Safe and Organized

This a post about saving our most cherished memories, flash drives and even…fireproof safes.

Imagine a natural destruction hitting your home – knock on wood (maybe I should have said “hello” first lol – bare with me though).  As you run away, what item will you chose to save when you only have seconds to get out of the door? I assume we all, will try to save our beloved humans and pets but, besides living souls, what is the most important item/possession, you will try to save if you can?

Is it money? Books? Your phone or/and laptop? If you were to think about it now, what would you say is the ONE possession you cherish above all?

I have put some thought to this and I will tell you what my most important, cherished and must-have-forever possession is:

Memories.

Read on the simple way to organize and store away safely, your memories. And how to make sure you will know exactly what is saved and where!


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Memories are – to me – by far the most precious “things” I have accumulated over the years.

But memories ain’t a “thing”, you might say – and you could be right.  However, the medium where I can safe keep my most important memories, is a thing and helps me carry my memories around and possibly forever. Like my happiest day as a mom, a day spent at a Greek beach, a day that no cry was  heard for a WHOLE day. Which at that time, was truly…groundbreaking for us back then. Good times.

I have a brain, you might say again, I can remember all the important memories.  I have a brain too but – what can I say? – it was outdated by the time I was twenty – and its RAM is really low.  I don’t recall all the precious moments of my daughter’s growing up and as time goes by, I believe I will recall less and less of her precious growing-up moments I cherish. From the first time she looked at me, up to each blurry picture I took while she was dancing and giggling. Are you holding on to these blurred pictures too?

Thankfully, with photos and videos I can keep the memories alive forever. They hold precious moments of life and they can become mobile far easier than items that might also carry a sentimental value but are too bulky to evacuate quickly. Like her safety blankie (though I’d better; she never sleeps without it!).

I also hope I never have to run away from our home in panic but, there is a very common disaster that can damage my most prized possessions: computer death. Like it happened to me last august and caused all the blogging hiatus for the following months. We managed to retrieve most of the files (thank goodness) but now I am on a mission to religiously save my daughter’s photos at least every month.

But, after a while, nobody knows what is in those darn usb sticks

It so happens that a lot of people do save their files (me included) only to amass a number of drives and flash drives that go unused and soon, nobody remembers what we saved in each of them. Haven’t you – at least once – looked at a usb drive and wondered “what’s in here”? Didn’t you at least once, spent hours checking each back up device only to forget yet again a few days/weeks later?

I don’t know about you, but me and hubby always wonder what on earth is inside of our gazillion usb sticks, And every time we have to open the PC, load the stick, say “oh that’s where I had *this*”, then remove the usb and forget about it (and what it contains) within a day…

Or you might have – just like me – a few minuscule flash drives that simply disappear one day? Sheesh, those are impossible to find again!

You might argue that “hey I have a Tera external hard drive where I keep everything”. Thumbs up for you! Seriously, it’s a great way to store everything together. But, is it easy to just carry it around? Like…really easy? Didn’t think so. Portability, is where usb flash drives come in handy.

And I have a simple organizational trick to make sure, you will always know exactly what’s in them!

 

You will need:

1. Key tags.

Buy key ID tags (suitcase tags are also good if you want a bigger handle, with lots of space to write what’s in the usb). 20 colorful pieces under $2 and 50 pieces for ~ $3 on amazon, but you can find key tags practically anywhere: at supermarkets, online and even at home improvement stores.

 

2. Usb flash drives. Usb sticks, Usb drives. Different names, same thing.

Buy good ones, with plentiful storage. The point here is immediate and easy portability, plus ability to withstand the test of time. We will need usb sticks that have a hole to attach the key tags and decent storage capabilities (because photos and especially videos, are large files).

Some characteristics to consider include:

  • good reviews with emphasis on durability. Without being a pro on flash memory sticks, my personal preference leans towards Kingston and Sandisk.
  • large storage capacity (videos especially, need a lot of room), added functions like password protection are also handy.
  • Optional: looks. You might be into playful ones, or sleek looking ones. You might want all sticks to be the same or covered in crystals.
Flash drive inspiration 

From realistic lipsticks to Batman shaped ones, to the serious looking, few items have such design versatility. All the images are clickable links (will take you to Amazon) for a closer look. I adore the top right one, with Swarovski crystals and the double function of being both a usb and a stylus!

 



 

Modus Operandi:

 

Get each usb on a key tag.

Write on each key tag the contents.

Fill each usb stick with a single category. For example: Baby’s 1st year, Our wedding, Blog posts of 2009.

It might help you to group the content per year or per person. I use a usb per year and name them “Baby’s 1st year”, “Baby’s 2nd year”, etc. Not highly imaginative but it’s a clear and concise description that makes it easy to find the year I am looking for.

Copy-paste from your pc to the usbs every photo and video you want. No need to “burn” or other obscure file transfer. Just copy & paste.

Put them all in the same drawer or box, or – even better – pass them all around a key chain or sturdy necklace. (I keep ours near the front exit so I can quickly grab them and go if need be.)

Voila, memories organized, safe and easy to find again!

 

 

Hardcore preparedness: Taking it to a whole other OCD level

Optional extra step: if you are on the overachiever side like I am, make a copy of ALL your “precious memories” flash sticks, in a couple larger capacity usbs and give them to someone you trust completely but lives in a different house.  Like your mother for example.  That way, even if your copies get lost or destroyed for whatever reason (one good reason is usbs don’t “live” forever either, they can get corrupted over time and render your memory files unreadable) it helps to have a back up, safely tucked away.

Optional extra step no 2: And just as I thought I was all done with this post and had shared all my 2 cent ‘wisdom’ on the subject, hubby said “why don’t you put them in a safe? Like a fireproof one?”.

Wait woah, good idea! So, I searched Amazon again, and there are: fire resistant, fire proof and waterproof ones. I am skeptical about the digital ones that claim to be fireproof (can’t imagine a sensitive LCD screen withstanding the flame of a lighter – let alone a serious fire).

Here are a few ideas – the middle one is currently at $36 – of smaller fireproof safes:

Ok, ok, even I feel like a safe is overkill, though the idea is growing on me. After all, this is my baby’s blurry pictures we are talking about keeping safe – more valuable than Apple stocks I tell ya!

Tell me in the comments: Do you feel confident with your way of keeping your photographs, videos and memories safe?

 

ps. Keep those precious flash drives together, neatly organized with their name tags and keep adding memories. 🙂

16 thoughts on “How We Keep Our Memories Safe and Organized

  • April 3, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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    Yes! I put everything in a fireproof safe! Great ideas.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2017 at 4:04 pm
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    This post was really useful for me because I’m always wondering if our photos and videos are safe in the hard drive we store them! People are suggesting I should keep them in flash drives apparently they are safer! I’ve also started printing some photos! I love your tips l’m going to use them!

    Reply
  • March 28, 2017 at 11:11 pm
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    This is such a clever and creative way to store photos! My digital photos are equivalent to having physical ones scattered throughout the house, under the beds, and in the closets…and the garage. Does that make sense? lol I love your idea and hopefully one day I can implement it.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2017 at 11:53 pm
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      Lol, yes it does make sense! Mine were like physical ones buried in a basement. XD

      Reply
  • March 28, 2017 at 12:00 am
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    Love that idea! I got a slew of USB ports with other items but we keep most of our photos and documents on a cloud. 🙂 Now I’m going to have to go back and see whats on those USB ports I have in the drawer.

    Reply
    • March 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm
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      Cloud is very techy and practical (thumbs up) but I have trust issues with it. That’s why I prefer saving my child’s photos on lowly flash drives and external hard drives. Should I sit down with cloud and work out my issues with it? 😀

      Reply
  • March 23, 2017 at 6:07 am
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    This came at the best time! Thanks so much!!!! I needed to do something about baby’s photos and your solution is brilliant!!!!

    Reply
    • March 23, 2017 at 11:46 am
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      Oh, I am so glad you find it helpful! With your precious baby I bet you will have a thousand photos by the time she turns one. 😀

      Reply
  • March 22, 2017 at 4:05 am
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    This is such a great idea, our flash drives are all over the place at the moment and we have to go through each and everyone to try find what we’re looking for. I really love this

    Reply
    • March 22, 2017 at 10:10 pm
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      I know, right?! I think everybody has the same problem with the usb sticks. Glad if this solution works for you. 🙂

      Reply
    • March 19, 2017 at 7:02 pm
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      Nuh, quality trumps size but even the best quality ones have an – unknown – expiration date and as it is usual with electronics, you never know when they’ll decide to stop working. :/

      Reply
  • March 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm
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    Great idea. Going to have to do this!!!

    Reply
    • March 14, 2017 at 5:32 pm
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      I am telling you, we had a small…army of usb sticks and we never – ever knew for certain what was saved in there.

      Reply

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