The Easiest—and Most Secure—Way to Store Your Photos Digitally

  • A grandmother and her granddaughter take photos of each other while sitting on a couch.
It’s so easy and cheap to snap a photo these days. Today’s phones take high quality images and are always with us. And do you remember how expensive—and time consuming—it used to be to have film developed?

But all that comes at a cost. Our phones run out of memory so we end up frantically deleting apps, emails, and photos. We transfer photos to laptops, but don’t back them up. Friends text cute photos, but how often do we take the time to download them?

Back in the day, it was simple. Photos went in albums—or at the very least boxes. But here’s the good news. With a small investment of time and money, you can securely store your photos digitally. Here’s how:

Step 1: Download Your Photos

Get in the habit of, at least once a month, downloading photos from your phone, tablet, or camera to your computer.

Step 2: Name Your Photos and Create Folders

If you want to be able to quickly find photos, use folders to organize them by topic or date. It’s also helpful to name each photo, so that you can easily search for it at a later date.

Step 3: Back Them Up

Unless your computer has unlimited storage and you know it will never break or get lost or stolen, you’ll need a back-up. There are three methods (experts suggest using at least two of them, to be on the safe side):

• An external drive. To the tech-wary this sounds scary. But all it really means is that you plug it into your computer and drag folders to the device.
• An online storage service. If you’re a Mac user, the iCloud photo library makes this easy. Other options include Flickr, Google Photos, Dropbox, and Prime Photos (free with an Amazon Prime subscription.)
• Good old-fashioned prints. You still have your great-grandmother’s wedding photo taken 80 years ago, right? Enough said.

What About All Your Old Photos?

Your recent photos may be stored securely in the cloud, but what about all of your old family photos, albums, and scrapbooks?

The most important thing to remember is that they should never be stored in an area that has high humidity or is very hot or cold. Basically, that means attics and basements are out. It’s also important to store photos in acid-free albums placed in acid-free boxes. Avoid writing on photos (even the backs) and don’t use paperclips or rubber bands to secure them.

If your photos or other storage needs leave you crunched for space, consider renting a climate-controlled self storage unit. At StorageMart, we offer affordable self storage units that range from about the size of a closet to the size of a garage—or even bigger. They can be rented on a month-by-month basis and are always clean and well lit.

Check out our storage unit guide or rent a unit online today. While we can’t keep everything, family photos offer a look back in time that will be treasured for years—and are definitely worth preserving.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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