Your Disks are Probably Dead

One of our clients was devastated to find that three of her DVD disks with family videos were unreadable. We couldn’t read them in our office on multiple devices. She can’t read them. They are officially corrupt.

That is a shame, it’s all too common, and it’s completely preventable. You look at those shiny pieces of plastic–which will last forever in a landfill–and don’t realize that the data can last just a few years.

She paid good money to have old VHS tapes and reel films digitally transferred, but she never backed up the transfers! Now, years later, she’s tossed the originals (we don’t recommend that!) and she’s lost the digital conversions, too. These one-of-a-kind home movies of Disney, hockey games, family weddings, and Christmas are now gone forever.

Any type of digital storage device has an average life of less than 15 years. That means you need to view and transfer that data about every 5 years or so. Technology changes might require you to change computers or photo platforms about that often, or more so. We estimate that 10-20% of every family media collection might be corrupt now or in the very near future. Which 20% of your old photos and videos would you be ok losing this year?

NOTE: If you wrote on those disks with Sharpies, they are at even more risk. The ink will eat through the disk layers and corrupt the data underneath, and you’ll never know until you try to play them again. The same can be true of the glue on adhesive labels. Never write on your disks.

NOTE: Disks are a bad way to store your videos, anyway. They are compressed (low quality), not something you can post online, and not editable on disks. Save them to hard drives instead so they’ll be shareable with others.

You don’t have to be a techie to preserve your photos and precious memories. We can teach you where to back up your photos, we can provide you with resources, or we can do it all for you.

#SaveYourPhotos month is ending. It is a free education event hosted by The Photo Managers, a professional organization focused on helping you save and enjoy your photos and memorabilia. Why should you care? You have a few more days to register to get access to nearly 40 short classes about photo management. Once registered, you’ll have a few months to listen to the classes that interest you.

Photo Organizing from school and Camp

If you aren’t playing with your photos during the weird, possibly slower pace of the pandemic, when will you ever?

There’s no better time to gather, preserve, organize, maintain, and share your collection.

But you don’t have to go it alone.

And “photos” means more than you think.

Here at HeartWork Organizing, we work with:

  • print photos and albums,
  • old reel films,
  • slides,
  • VHS tapes,
  • undeveloped film
  • framed photos and artwork,
  • keepsakes like trophies and medals,
  • and precious children’s artwork, too.

Photo Organizing with photos, video, VHS tapes

Yes, we can convert any or all of that to digital media, but our job isn’t done until those digital copies are safely backed up in your collection, and you know how to access and enjoy them. The bulk of our job is about helping you learn to love your photos again, whether you use a PC or Mac, an Android phone or an iPhone.

You might not be ready to start your photo organizing project just yet, but go ahead and grab your free access to the #SaveYourPhotos month classes here. 

My class on Creative Ways to Display Your Photos at Home is free to listen to now.

If your specific problem is children’s artwork, check out my online course here to turn those bins and piles of childhood artwork into a keepsake photo book. 

Saving Your Kid's Art online course from HeartWork Organizing

If you are the kind of person who just wants to go from zero-to-90 mph in no time flat, then check out my express course to help you create your first print photo book in just a few short lessons using the SORT and Succeed system that you already know from organizing projects with me.

Save Your Photos with SORT and Succeed course

And if you are the kind of person who likes to take your time, read, highlight, and underline the important concepts, let me recommend the book from founder of The Photo Managers, Cathi Nelson, called Photo Organizing Made Easy.

Lastly, if this all seems like a BIG PROJECT, don’t sweat it. Check out my bite-sized photo organizing tips on Instagram. You can ask me a quick question there, too.

Save Your Photos Month