What to Do With Old Photos: Storage, Disposal, & Upcycling

What to Do With Old Photos: Storage, Disposal, & Upcycling

It is heartbreaking to lose someone important. Before, during, and after the service, you will see some things that remind you of the people you lose, such as photos. Photos are a good reminder of the happy times spent with the deceased. You can look at their photos whenever you miss them and remember the good old days. What to do with the old photos of the deceased? 

old photos collection

(Photo by Jianna Kosinska from Unsplash)

You can store, dispose of, or upcycle old photos. But how? Find out now.

To Store or Not to Store? Knowing Your Goal

If the deceased love to take photos, chances are you will have many photos to organize or dispose of. Set aside some time to go through the photos. This will probably bring back many memories, so prepare a tissue box.

Before you start keeping or throwing away photos, it is important to decide what your goals are to identify what to do with old photos. Do you want to declutter? Are you going to store photos in the cabinet? Knowing your goal before going through the old photos will help you tackle the tasks and avoid spending the whole day with a few photos. 

How To Store Old Photos Properly

If you choose to store old photos, it is essential to do it properly to avoid fading and protect the memories. Here are two storage methods to preserve and store old photos of deceased loved ones.

Digital Storage

It is easier to organize and store old photos when you digitize them. On your computer, you can add tags, organize folders, and create notes to remind yourself of the events that happened in the photos. You can transfer them to your phones and share them on social media to remind you and your loved ones of the deceased.

women and laptop

(Photo by Brooke Cagle from Unsplash)

You can digitize old family pictures using your phone or scanner or leave them to professionals.

  • Phone: Download the GoogleScan app on your phone and use it to scan old photos. The scanned photos can be uploaded to Google Photos for easier transfer, sharing, and viewing.
  • Scanner: Scan, restore, and store old photos like they are just taken. You can restore the color of the faded photos. It is a faster option, ideal if you have a box of old photos to digitize.
  • Leave it to professionals: Some businesses offer to digitize old photo services. If you have hundreds or thousands to digitize and don’t want the hassle, it is best to leave it to professionals.
  • Physical Storage

    If you choose physical storage for your old family pictures, it is necessary to store them properly in an ideal place. Consider the following:

  • Lighting: Exposure to sunlight will cause your old photos to fade. Put them in closed containers or store them in dark places. 
  • Ventilation: Ventilation is crucial to prevent mold or organic substance growth in old family pictures. 
      • Temperature: Store in a cool room with stable temperatures, ideally below 75°F.
  • Moisture: Store old family pictures away from moisture.

  • What to do with old photos if you want to store them at home? You can store old family pictures in cabinets, closets, or under the bed. Transfer old photos to plastic bins, containers, or storage compartments for easy access. Make sure to label each container.

    vintage photos

    (Photo by Charisse Kenion from Unsplash)

    How to Dispose of Old Photos Safely

    There are multiple ways to dispose of old photos, namely:

    • Throwing in the trash bin.
    • Run old photos in a shredder.
    • Burn those old photos.
    • Leave old pictures submerged in water or boil them. But you need to handle toxic water afterward.
    • Get your kitchen blender. 
    • Deface photos using sandpaper. This is ideal if privacy and security are your main concern.
    • Paint to cover the photos.
    • Believe it or not, you can freeze photos until they become brittle.

    But what to do with film negatives? Technically, film negatives are made from plastic. Don’t burn them because they will emit toxic gasses. Send them to local recycling companies instead.

    film negatives

    (Photo by Markus Winkler from Unsplash)

    Creative Things to Do With Old Photos

    Old family photos can be recycled and/or upcycled. Instead of throwing and purging photos, you can reuse them and turn them into amazing things you can use at home. Aside from using them to make a memorial picture wall, here are creative and brilliant ideas for your old photos. 

    Old Family Pictures Wall Arts or Displays

    Attach old family pictures in strings and branches. Then hang them on your walls. You can also make a wall clock using old photos. And when you get tired of the photos, you can replace them!

    Memorial Old Family Pictures Table Runner

    Create a theme for the table runner and select the photos you want to include. Arrange the old photos and glue them together.

    Custom Old Family Pictures Journal

    This option is ideal if you don’t mind cutting old photos. You can use the photo journal or give it as a gift.

    If you have old photos that you want to immortalize, consider turning them into pieces of art. Memorialize Art can help by creating digital copies of your photos and transforming them into beautiful works of art. We offer a variety of products and services that are perfect for commemorating the memories of your loved ones. Check out our website to see all that we have to offer, and be sure to contact us if you have any questions or would like to place an order.

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