Saturday, September 19, 2009

Memory Lane

I've been starting to feel some stress about finding a job and some other things, so I decided a good OCD-inspired project would help soothe my over-active mind. I bought a scanner yesterday and except for a brief sleep, I've been sitting in my pajamas at the dining room table going through photos ever since.

All of my photos are already labeled, in date order, in boxes separated by year. (I can't help it.) So I've been going through them and starting at the beginning and just scanning, keeping them in date order and filing them by year on my Mac. I back up my Mac regularly (daily or weekly) via Mac's awesome Time Machine technology (which I had to use last night for the first time ever - it was amazing and it saved my bacon), and then I have a separate external hard drive which I use to back up my pictures and documents a second time. (A Western Digital My Passport 250 gig. It's tiny and awesome.) I do that every week or so.

But now I have a few dilemmas. First, do I throw away my hard copy pics once I scan them? I am very anti-clutter, but it's pretty counter-intuitive to throw out pictures. Second, even though I have two back-ups of my photos, it worries me to have everything on-site. I wish I could also do an off-site back up, but the reviews for Carbonite and similar services are terrible. Should I just put my 2nd hard drive in a different place in my house?

Anyone? What have you done? What would you do if you had OCD and time on your hands? Be nice or the kitten gets it.


  1. Wow! Would you come orgaize and anti-clutter my house?! You have always amazed me :)

    Unfortunately, these things don't even cross my mind - back up my computer? (probably would have saved me hundreds in lost iTunes) Sort photos? (takes too much time) Throw out something I am done with (what if I NEED it later)...

    Bless you my child for you have a gift!

  2. I am very pro anti-clutter too but I see no reason to throw your pictures away. Store them in a easy-to-find storage box that you can buy cheap at target/walmart and put them aside and out of the way.

    As for backing up you sound pretty covered but maybe one more option is to burn a few DVD's once you are finished with the scans you are working on and send it to a family member/good friend. Just one more way to keep those pictures off location without paying big bucks for online storage :)

  3. Store the pictures. Good for you though, I've been slowly doing the same thing, except all of our family pictures are "stored" loose in an old suitcase that my mom stashed in a closet. Since she doesn't speak to me, my brother had to steal the suitcase and sneak it over to my house for archiving.

  4. I like Aimee's suggestion about sending DVD's offsite. We take a similar approach at our office (lo-cost non-profit style): we do system backups and the bookkeeper takes the harddrive home. You could do the same with an external harddrive and a safety deposit box.

    Cloud-based backups are a drag, but easier than the other options. has done well by me (and GE uses them, which is endorsement enough). I've never had to do a backup from Mozy, though. Time Machine has saved me, too.

  5. Thanks so much, guys! I thought of the safe deposit box thing, but then I'd have to retrieve it every week to do another back up, and I'd probably get lazy about it. But I appreciate all the suggestions. And I really need to double-back up my iTunes. That would be a huge bummer with all the money I've sunk into it.


  6. i keep my second external hard drive in a fireproof box in my closet. that way, it's close by for easy access, but it should still be safe if disaster strikes.

  7. You'd regret throwing out those pictures. Anyway, you have to show your nephew what a photograph was 10 years from now.

  8. Don't ever throw out pictures. (In my opinion). Do anything you can to keep them.

  9. You are the cutest!

    I wouldn't throw out actual photos. Just store them out of the way. But I am nostalgic.