10/23/2013 12:22 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Preserve Your Photos Like a Pro

It's definitely a digital age, but print continues to endure. Whether it's the ever-growing trend of scrapbooking as an activity at one out of five bridal showers, the simple joy of receiving a photo card in the mail or storing away your child's artwork each year, traditional mementos continue to be cherished in boxes or basements throughout Canada.

The question is -- can these cherished items endure a severe flooding or storm?

In order to organize, maintain and protect photos, videos and children's artwork, the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) has provided eight helpful tips -- both for preserving and cleaning up your personal memory collection:

1) Humidity, temperature, and sunlight can all cause damage. Make sure your photos are stored in a dry, cooler space -- preferably raised off the floor.

2) Storing your photos properly is vital to maintaining them. If you wish to store photos in albums, use 100 per cent acid free photo albums that do not contain glue. If you wish to store boxes of lose photos in your home, use boxes that are 100 per cent acid free and lignin free. Make sure to check tubberware containers carefully before storing photos in them - a lot of them are not free of these chemicals.

3) For framed photos, make sure to purchase frames that have UV protected glass. This helps to maintain the photo's original look and colour.

4) For photo negatives, purchase protection sleeves from a camera store or a photography specialty business. Storing negatives in plastic binder sleeves contain chemicals and allow light through that will ruin the original image.

5) When documenting old heritage photos, record the information you know first (birth, death, marriage, children), and ask living relatives what they remember as well. You may get some great historical information. Genealogy research can also be helpful.

6) Use a photo safe pencil to record details on the back of photos to help your memory later. Do not use a pen or regular pencil as they can damage your photos.

7) Not sure what to do with kid's artwork? Scan or photograph it and put it in a digital album. This allows you to purge projects while still saving the memory of them! You might still want to keep a few things, but you'll downsize a lot of bulky art projects.

8) If you have a huge pile up of digital photos or are looking to rid yourself of loose pictures, photo books are a great alternative. All you are required to do is send in the digital files and for an inexpensive price, you can have a full book of your photos created.

From basic organizing to an advance level of preservation, going through your photos, videos and artwork and protecting your items is both a fun activity, as well as a way to cherish these items for many years to come. Memories may fade; keeping a hard copy reminder of that special moment safe and sound will make it last forever.

Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada. Currently representing more than 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC's mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network, and exchange resources. POC also works to educate the public about the organizing industry and the benefits of working with a POC member. POC offers an online member directory to help clients find an organizer who is right for their project.

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