Digitizing Old Photos

My project for the next few weeks is to try and complete the digitization of all our old  paper photographs, along with any paper documents that we might need to reference in the future. I actually started on the photographs last fall and made some good progress, but I still have quite a few more to sift through. Some of them are in albums, but many are just loose in boxes or bags. And of course, some are in frames on the walls or on shelves.

My project for this month is to scan old photographs and get rid of the albums.

Right now I’m concentrating on the ones in albums. It’s sad to see how the colors have faded or changed over the years under plastic. It makes me appreciate that much more the value of having digital copies of the photos. I’m using our HP Photosmart printer which has a flatbed scanner to scan the photos, and the software that came with the printer does a decent job of correcting the colors and removing dust and scratches. However, it’s nowhere near the quality that the photos had when they were originally taken.

I’m not scanning every single photo that we’ve kept in the albums. For instance, we used to travel from home in Houston, Texas to visit family in Arizona every year. And every year we would visit Sedona and do some hiking, and every year I would photograph the beautiful red rock formations in central Arizona–I couldn’t help myself. So now I have multiple photographs of the same red rock formations, with no context to make them meaningful. I decided to only keep digital copies of the photographs of ourselves, family members, or scenes that we can identify with something that brings back a specific memory. The other photographs are beautiful, but our plan is to make that scenery our backyard soon.

And for paper documents, I’ve ordered a Fujitsu Scansnap mobile scanner that we will be taking on the road with us. I’ll be using it to scan records and receipts from our file cabinet that we might need in the future.

I have plenty of storage space for the digital files on external hard drives that I’ve acquired over the years, and I’ll also be utilizing Cloud storage for some things. It’s a lot of work to go through this process, but it feels so freeing every time I toss one of these old picture albums in the trash can.

My goal is to do something every day to get us one step closer to full-time RV living, and this year I’m right on target!


This Is The Year

Happy (belated) New Year, everyone!

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who have been hanging out in the Southwestern U.S. for the past few months, you’re probably dealing with unusually cold weather as we are here in North Mississippi.  Between the holidays and the weather, we have not had a chance to spend any time in Lizzie since we returned from Tennessee in early October, and I miss it so much!

Right now Lizzie in covered up and tucked in at the storage facility. We winterized her when the weather first turned cold, but we still go by every week to check on her and keep the batteries topped off.

Lizzie is covered up in the storage lot, but we check on her every week.

But the excitement is building! This is the year that everything changes!

Our plans to become full-time RVers this year are starting to accelerate. Since I am still employed full-time, I won’t reveal too much about our plans right now in this public forum, but I can tell you that we’re getting our house ready to go on the market. Last week we had our kitchen and laundry room floors redone, replacing the old worn laminate stick-on tiles with new ceramic tile. Of course we already had the master bathroom remodeled last year, so we’re hoping the improvements will add to the value of the property when we list the house later.

We replaced the tile in the kitchen and laundry room in January. This is while grouting was in progress.

We’re continuously looking for things to declutter, discard, donate or repurpose. We’re finding so many examples of over-consumption, duplication and needless hoarding–typical behavior for societies that have houses with space to fill. The process of downsizing is a little harder for Andy than it is for me as I don’t tend to get as emotionally attached to things in general. But even I have things that I struggle with letting go of, and I have to continually remind myself why it’s important to just let it go.


So, this is going to be the year when it all happens. Right now the posts to this blog will be somewhat infrequent while the weather is so cold, but as soon as we’re able to stay above freezing for a reasonable length of time, we’ll hit the road again for more shake-out adventures.

Like I said, I don’t want to reveal a whole lot about our plans until about July, but just know that this year is going to be epic. So stay tuned and follow along!