If you’re like me, you’ve got a lot of photos hanging around your house. They probably date back to your children’s first year, or maybe your own childhood, or maybe you’re so lucky to have family heirloom photos from your parents, grandparents, and even further back than that. My oldest family photos date back to the 1930’s, and honestly, I don’t even know who the people are in the pictures, but I know they’re extremely important to keep. Just as important as all the goofy pictures of me in sassy nine-year-old poses and my sweet little Noah’s smirky toddler grin and curly afro.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how these pictures are some of my most prized possessions, and I worry that in the event of a natural disaster, they could be gone in an instant. That’s why I wanted to partner with Legacybox to preserve these mementos so they’re mine-all-mine no matter what comes our way. Digitizing the photos myself would’ve taken me a full year, and as we say here in Tennessee, ain’t nobody got time fo’ that! So I practiced what I preach and I outsourced some help.
What Legacybox Does
Legacybox is a company right here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and they own a massive 50,000 square foot campus with super high-tech thingamabobs. AKA, they digitize things at super-human speed and amazingly high quality.
Whether you’ve got stacks on stacks on stacks of photos or old home movies, they’ve got you covered. They can even digitize those cassette mix tapes you made back in elementary school for the love of your life, Devin (life meaning three weeks). Come on, you know you called in to the radio station to get them to play ‘Have You Ever’ by Brandy and then recorded the DJ giving your secret crush a very public shoutout.
Once they receive your original copies (don’t worry, they’re ridiculously careful with your mementos) they make the magic happen and turn your memories into digital copies that will last forever. So they’re basically making memory vampires over there. (Joking! Well, kind of…)
How The Process Works
1. Your kit arrives at your front door.
Once you’ve purchased your kit, you’ll receive a box right on your doorstep. Inside that box is another box. (Think Christmas prank with Russian-doll style packaging) And inside that box is an instruction book and a sheet of labels. Don’t freak, it’s supposed to be 99% empty. They send you the boxes so you can safely ship them your pictures and videos (and 90’s mix tapes) without risking them getting damaged in shipping. These boxes are heavy duty, and you could ship a loaf of bread inside and it wouldn’t show up smushed.
2. Gather up your most valuable mementos.
I chose to only digitize photos this time, so my process took a little longer than someone who was sending in VHS tapes of school plays and piano recitals. I went through literally every single photo I own, grouping them into categories and stacks of 25. You can categorize them however you’d like, by year, occasion, family member, or rank of embarrassment. (Spoiler alert, the year I got a perm in elementary school somehow disappeared from all photo evidence. Did I have something to do with that? No, of course not…)
Once I had my photos categorized and separated into stacks of 25 pictures, I put them in heavy duty zip-top bags and popped a pre-printed label on them, provided by Legacybox.
3. Pack up your mementos and ship them to Legacybox.
The instructions state to use fillers inside the box to make sure your prized possessions aren’t sloshing around a quarter-filled box. I took that instruction to the max and stuffed my box as tight as I could with some leftover air-filled plastic pocket fillers from a recent Amazon purchase. If you don’t have any of those hanging around, you can stuff your box with leftover wadded-up gift wrapping paper, plastic shopping bags, or those old t-shirts your husband still has from college that you hate when he wears. (If you do this, pop a note in your box asking them to politely “lose” the t-shirt fillers during the re-packing process.)
Once your box is packed up, you’ll put that box back in the shipping box you received and cover the old shipping label with a new one provided in your welcome kit. Then take that box to your nearest UPS Store, avoid small-talk with the old friend you haven’t seen in years (true story), hand the box to the extra-smiley cashier with the most hilariously inappropriate coffee mug (again, true story), and go get in line at Starbucks for a celebratory Mocha.
4. You’ll get detailed updates throughout the process.
This is what I really loved about my Legacybox experience. They update you every step of the way. They updated me more than Good Morning America updates me on the news. Yeah, it’s that detailed.
They let you know when your box arrives, and when the process starts, and exactly what they’ll be doing. And the coolest part is, you get a special link so you can keep track of the progress yourself. It’s like the delivery pizza tracker, but better.
5. Get the coolest happy mail ever!
Once the digitization process is all done, they’ll ship back your original photos or videos, along with any storage devices you chose. I got a thumb drive, a DVD set, and Digital Downloads to store in my Clouds. I chose to be extra secure by going with all three so I can share them with my extended family, and have the added safety of knowing they’re available to me in the event of any disaster.
What To Do With Your Old Photos Now
After you’ve digitized your photos, videos, and evidence that your first love was definitely not your last, you can pack up those babies into a safe little home where they won’t be disturbed. Of course, if you’re cool with it, you can get rid of the originals, but if you’re not ready to part with them yet, I highly recommend getting a fire and waterproof case and storing that case in a space out of the way in your home. Under a guest bed or in rarely-used closet work great. Don’t ever keep them in an attic or basement unless there’s proper ventilation and a working HVAC, as the extreme heat during the summer can ruin your mementos.
Want To Try Legacybox For Your Memories?
I am SO pleased with the process, and even though that dang DVD makes me cry every stinkin’ time I pop it in, I am so happy I took the time to do this. Legacybox really took photo storage and organization off my already-busy plate, and I am so grateful for the care they put into making my memories last through generations to come.
They were also so kind to offer my friends (that’s YOU!) a special code to get 40% off any Legacybox kit of your choice. That’s the lowest price I’ve ever seen them run, and I’m blushing like a schoolgirl at the thought that you can get this experience with that kind of discount. Just use the code ORGANIZEDISH to get your 40% discount, and definitely let me know what you end up sending in.
Please, please, somebody tell me you still have your old cassette mix tapes. And after you get them digitized, you and I are for sure planning a girls’ night to drink wine and play it all back.
Legal Disclaimer: I partnered with Legacybox to try out their service, and I was gifted a 10 Piece Family Kit at no charge. All opinions in this post are 100% my own, and all recollections of my personal experience are true and not moderated by Legacybox. The 40% off promo code is a gift to my readers, and I do not receive any commissions from this discount. It is solely something special for friends of Me, and I don’t receive anything from it. I do not make any claims regarding the safety and security of the Legacybox service, and may not be held liable for any experiences, neither positive nor negative. I am simply sharing my own personal experience with the company, and the information has not been altered, nor has had details omitted. As with any service, I suggest you do your research, and purchase at your own discretion.