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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

Photo-Scanning Party

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

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

I, too, held 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. (If you put “party” at the end of anything, Ryan will show up.)

First, I found a high-quality scanner I could rapidly feed photos and immediately save to a memory card, which I could then use in a few high-res digital picture frames so I could actually display my important photos. Plus, if anything were to happen to my home—flood, fire, robbery—all my photos are saved and secured online; thus, I’ll never worry about losing those memories. Of course, the memories aren’t in our material possessions, but I discovered a well-curated photo collection triggers 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 in all its double-chinned grandeur, scanning my favorites to display.

Now, I have one remaining box of photos to scan. Another Scanning Party is in order! Feel free to join me: scan your photos and share your favorites on Twitter or Instagram using our #ScanningParty hashtag.

FYI: The above scanner and digital picture frame links are Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a tiny bit of money, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and buy something. That’s obviously not why I’m recommending them; I’m recommending them because they’re what I use personally. They’ve added value to my life, and I hope they add value to yours. If I earn enough money to buy a cup of coffee along the way, that’s nice, too. That said, if you don’t need a scanner or frame, please don’t buy them just because I use them.