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Should I admit that I saved all my fridge calendars from 2000 – 2011?

Does it sound worse if I said that I still had them as of 2022? Oops… Well, they have been disposed of properly, but let me tell you what I did first and it made me so happy.

We are always working on decluttering/downsizing our things now that all but one child has “left the building” as they say, but every once in a while I find something that I’m so grateful that I didn’t actually pitch right away. With a family of four children, our fridge calendars were the glue that kept us together. Of course, the timing of this was before the apps that are now available that track each child’s schedule, but I think that somehow it was even better. They were always visible to anyone passing by the fridge (Does anyone but me remember “the Fridge” that played for the Chicago Bears? Sorry… way off the subject!) which meant we all knew what was coming up on any particular day.

Why even think of scanning these fridge calendars?

Yes, you might think I have gone a bit overboard with this one, but just step back and think about precious it is to be able to step back in time and see the chaos that you were living in the middle of at the time! Then you can also factor in the great details it adds to our photos we have filed by each year.

As you will see as I keep posting about my Photo Management journey, I also keep my photos separated by month. These calendars have been such a great resource to look back at while I have been working on organizing my photos. The only thing better would have been if I had kept a journal during all those years, but with 4 kids, it just didn’t happen. So, I will take this as a win!

Here are the steps I took:

  1. It is hard to scan these calendars in a flatbed scanner with the spiral binding so I cut them off and instantly it made everything easier.
  2. Scan each one of these on a flatbed scanner. I have a Plustek OpticPro A320L which probably seems like overkill, but I also have about 20 12″ x 12″ scrapbooks that I needed to scan along with artwork from my youngest daughter. It has been one of my best investments!  The scans are incredibly good and I can get oversized objects scanned which is perfect.
  3. Save each scan and rename them starting with the year and month number so that they are easy to locate. I then move them into the same folder as my photos. Right now they are in the main folder and not in with the individual month’s pictures.

And that is all there was to it, but it will be gold at some point when our children look back into the photos! And I have even saved the Google Calendars coming forward although they lack some of the cool factor that the hand-written ones have. It is just wonderful to see “all the things” in real time as they were happening.

Maybe it will put things into perspective as our children start to look back at their own lives? Who knows… But I’m a firm believer in more information than less so they will have all that I have to give!

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