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How to preserve your memories for future generations

Grandmother and grandchild looking at photos

Finding ways to revive memories and preserve them for the future is important for many of us, especially as we age. It doesn’t matter if you are as fit as a fiddle or someone who relies on a stair lift at home, our memories matter and are worth conserving. It’s entirely natural that we want to keep our memories alive well into the future so that our experiences and stories might be remembered by our children and grandchildren. In this article, we will highlight different ways that you can preserve your memories, both for your own enjoyment and for the benefit of future generations.

Digitise your photos and videos

Many of us will have a series of photo albums buried in a drawer somewhere or even a box stuffed with photos from our youth. Keeping a physical version of these photos is certainly a good idea but why not also digitise these memories? By transforming your physical photos into a digital photo album, you can not only have peace of mind that they are safely stored somewhere where they can’t come to harm, but you can easily share them with others.

There are lots of easy ways you can digitise photos, for example, you can simply take a photo of your existing snaps via your smartphone. However, for a better quality digital transfer, why not consider something like PhotoScan by Google Photos? This is a brilliant app for your smartphone that allows you to scan your physical photos, with the app also removing any glare and colour distortions.

Digitising your treasured photos is something that Rachel from the lifestyle blog Home in the Pastures has done herself, telling us that it was a great way to preserve her family’s memories:

“Losing my dad three years ago has made preserving memories much more important to me, as I want to show them to my daughters when they get older. I have a lot of old photos of him ranging from the 1950s up to the end of his life. The older ones as you can imagine are degrading and irreplaceable, so my sister and I have started to preserve the images by digitalising and uploading them to a cloud-based service. The old pictures are then placed into an airtight container and kept in a cool place.”

You can also consider digitising any VHS tapes or home videos you might have at home. Often these videos are stored on out-of-date technology and are hard to share with others. A service like Digital Converters can help with this, making digital copies (or DVDs) of your existing videotapes so that they can be more easily played today.

Speaking to us about the importance of digitising, the director of Digital Converters, James Palliser, shared: “Preserving memories has become especially important over the last year, as everyone is spending more and more time at home, disconnected from family and friends. Digitising old videotapes is a great way to future-proof your precious family memories for years to come, and also have them in a useful format that makes it easy to reminisce over the good ol’ days. 

“On top of this, old formats are becoming increasingly hard to access with some material even degrading to the point where it can’t be recovered. Digitising your media is a great solution to this. It prevents any deterioration of old memories, and ensures they are preserved permanently for the future, whilst also making your home movies super accessible to access and share.”

Once your photos and videos are digitised, you can consider uploading them to a computer to share with loved ones or try something like Dropbox, an online sharing platform where you can create folders that your family can access.

Pass down stories to loved ones

Grandparent telling story to family

As we go through life, we collect so many wonderful memories thanks to our numerous experiences over the years. A wonderful way to keep the memory of the past alive is to pass down these memories in story form. Perhaps you have a wonderful recollection of how you met your spouse, a dramatic tale of peril, a struggle you overcame, or how you witnessed a pivotal event in history. Don’t keep these stories to yourself. When in the company of children and grandchildren, recount one of these tales so that your memories become something that they might remember and in turn pass on.

Keep a journal

Writing down moments and occasions you want to remember soon after they happen is an excellent way to record feelings and details. By jotting down what you have experienced in a journal, not only will that memory remain clearer to you, but you can pass down that journal to a relative in the future.

Shelby, artist and journal keeper from the blog Little Coffee Fox, is a proponent of writing down memories, and spoke to us about her process: “I rarely take photos in the moment. Later, I try to write down or draw out what happened that I'd like to remember. During vacations, for example, I like to keep a ‘Captain's Log’, wherein I write a paragraph or two about the details of the day before going to sleep at night. I'll try to write it out again in a journal and add some drawings, watercolour splashes, etc to help me cement in the details once I'm home and not in the chaos of travelling anymore. This allows me to almost bottle the essence of the trip on a day-to-day basis to help me remember those details that so quickly fade away if not preserved.”

Make a video or audio recording

So often when someone passes on, their memories are lost with them but by making a video or audio recording that captures your stories and experiences, you can make sure that cherished memories that family members will want to know about live long into the future.

Kelly, from the blog Happy You, Happy Family, recommends making a log of memories each day to build up a bank of recollections over time: “try using the voice recorder app on your phone to record stories and memories. This habit pairs well with setting a daily alarm on your phone to remind you.”

By recording a video of yourself or getting a family member to help, you could answer questions about your life, your parents, and answers questions on camera that your family would want to know about. If you don’t fancy doing it on camera, an audio recording will do just as well. Once recorded, you can save the digital file in a safe place or pass the disc on to your loved ones.

Create a memory box

Memory box

Another option for preserving your memories could be to create a time capsule or memory box. By simply putting items that evoke a strong memory into a box, you can craft a treasure chest of memories that can be enjoyed by generations to come. Julee, from Mommy’s Memorandum blog, recommends: “Try collecting tickets, notes, letters, gifts, and memorabilia of your favourite memories. This way you’ll be able to look back at the moments that meant the most to you.”

Items could include journals, documents, photos, certificates, medals, and anything else that represents you and your experiences. Secure the box and put it away somewhere safe at home for a time when it can be opened up and shared.

Arrange days out with family to important locations

So many of our memories are tied to locations. For example, the town we grew up in, the place that we got married, or a beloved family holiday destination you enjoyed as a child. To make these memories real for younger generations and share your treasured experiences, why not arrange days out with loved ones to visit these locations? You could explore the area around your childhood home or take the grandkids to visit the venue where you got married. By re-visiting these locations, not only will old memories come flooding back for you, but your stories will become far more memorable to your loved ones.

Great ways to preserve your memories for years to come

  • Digitise your photos and videos
  • Pass down stories to loved ones
  • Keep a journal
  • Make a video or audio recording
  • Create a memory box
  • Arrange days out with family to important locations

As you can see, there are lots of fun ways that you can preserve your precious memories. So, give one or two of these a try and ensure that your legacy lasts well into the future.

For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.


This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.