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Saving Family Photos in Your Divorce

Saving family photos in your divorce may not be something you’ve thought about.  Lucky for you, we’re hearing from an expert today on the subject!  Sue Triggs-Rhuda is the owner of Modern Memorykeeper, LLC.  She believes in tailors each project to that specific client’s needs, helping her clients to preserve and enjoy their memories.  Let’s learn from her expertise.


Moving during your divorce can be incredibly stressful, especially when it comes to protecting your precious photos, albums, and memorabilia. These items often hold irreplaceable memories, and ensuring they are safely packed and transported is crucial. Here are nine tips to help you ensure that your cherished memories survive the move and are ready for you to enjoy in your new home!   Here are 9 Tips to Moving Your Precious Photos and Memories Safely


1. Organize

Start by setting aside a dedicated area for your photos, albums, memorabilia, kids’ artwork, and videos. This will help you better organize them and keep everything together for the move. Sorting and organizing by date (e.g., 2022) or category (e.g., summer vacations) will facilitate packing and make unpacking easier at your new home.

2. Use Quality Packing Materials

Invest in high-quality packing materials such as bubble wrap, acid-free tissue paper, sturdy boxes, and plastic bins with locking lids. Acid-free, archival products are particularly important for long-term storage to prevent deterioration of your materials.

3. Pack Photos Properly

Loose Photos: Wrap groups of loose photos in acid-free tissue paper and label the tissue. Place these wrapped photos in a photo storage box, then pack the storage box into a larger moving box. Loose photos can also be placed in acid-free photo envelopes, sleeves, or folders to protect them.

Photos in Envelopes or Sleeves: Place these vertically in a box, filling any extra space with crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap to prevent shifting.

Larger Format Photos/Documents: Layer acid-free tissue paper between the items and place them in a large envelope or sleeve. Use cardboard or foam board to support the envelope so it remains flat. These supported items can be placed at the top of a box cushioned with paper or bubble wrap. For very large items, create a “portfolio” using two pieces of sturdy cardboard taped together.

4. Pack Albums

Wrap photo books and albums in bubble wrap or packing paper for cushioning and protection. For particularly fragile items or long-term storage, insert acid-free tissue paper between the pages. Store albums vertically in a box to prevent damage and warping, filling any gaps with bubble wrap or crumpled paper.

5. Pack Memorabilia, Kids Artwork, VHS, and DVDs

Follow similar guidelines for memorabilia: wrap items well in packing paper or bubble wrap, cushion them properly, and fill gaps between items to prevent shifting and breakage.

Kids’ Artwork: Use the same techniques for larger format photos and documents for those large scale artworks. You can also purchase heavy paper or cardboard portfolios at an art store to store/move your children’s art.

VHS and other sized tapes, film reels, and DVDs: These items should be packed similar to Albums. Wrap in packing paper, grouped for stability, and tape the bundle; make sure to label! All of these mediums should be packed standing up on end, not laying flat (which could warp the tape or break the case or DVD). Pack snugly together using crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap to fill any gaps in the box.

6. Use the Right Boxes and Bins

Photos and albums are heavy, so avoid overpacking boxes or bins to prevent breakage and make handling easier. Use multiple smaller boxes with evenly-distributed weight rather than fewer large, heavy boxes. Securely tape all boxes and bins, label them with their contents, indicate which end should be “Up,” and mark them as “Fragile.” For extra organization, label each box with a number and room designation, and keep a spreadsheet log of contents and room destination.

7. Consider Climate

Photos, albums, memorabilia, and videos are sensitive to temperature and humidity extremes. If possible, transport these items in your personal vehicle. If they must go in the moving truck, ensure they are well-insulated against fluctuating temperatures.

8. Unpack Carefully

After moving in, set aside time to unpack and check the boxes containing your photos and albums. Ensure nothing has been damaged or shifted during transit. Store your photos and albums in the main part of your home, out of attics, basements, and away from water sources. Suitable storage locations include cupboards, closets, or under a bed.

9. Consider Digitizing

If you have time before your move, consider digitizing your photos. Scanning your photos, slides, negatives, and memorabilia provides a digital backup in case anything happens to the physical originals. You can do the scanning yourself or hire a professional.

Final Thoughts

Moving is a huge undertaking and can be stressful, but it’s also an opportunity for an exciting new start. Properly moving and storing your photos, albums, and memorabilia ensures that your cherished memories remain safe throughout your move. By organizing, using quality materials, packing carefully, and taking extra care before, during, and after your move, you will keep your precious items safe and ready to enjoy in your new home, and for years to come!

For additional support with your photo memories, contact Sue Triggs-Rhuda!

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