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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 3 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY Show, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Photo-Scanning Party

scanning photos

If you’re going to ask for one physical gift this year for the holidays, you may want to consider a good photo scanner.

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably allowed the overstuffed boxes and photo albums go unchecked over the years, and now they’re collecting dust in your basement or closet, unused, just sitting there, waiting for “one day” to come.

One day: two of the most dangerous words in the English language.

See, I too used to hold on to heaps of meaningful photos that added absolutely no value to my life because they were hidden away, and the prospect of dealing with them seemed daunting, overwhelming, not worth the hassle. So I let them sit in the attic, the cupboard, the garage.

Then, inspired by Ryan’s Packing Party, I decided to throw a Photo-Scanning Party. (It turns out that if you put “party” at the end of anything, Ryan will show up.)

First, I found a high-quality scanner that allows me to rapidly feed photos and immediately save them to a memory card, which I could then use in a couple high-res digital picture frames. What a novel idea: actually display my important photos. Plus, if anything were to happen to my home—flood, fire, robbery—all my photos are backed up online. Thus I’ll never worry about losing those memories. Of course the memories aren’t in our material possessions, but I’ve found that well-curated photo collection can help trigger all the wonderful memories of yesteryear—without all the physical baggage.

Next, to make my “party” a little more fun—and less lonely—I invited a few friends over, ordered food and drinks, and together we thumbed through the photographs of my childhood and all of its double-chinned grandeur, scanning my favorites to display.

Now, I have one remaining box of photos I’m going to scan this month. I think another Scanning Party is in order. Feel free to join me: scan your own photos and share some of your favorites on Twitter or Instagram using our #ScanningParty hashtag.