A Memory Fortress, we have dedicated systems in place to protect your photos and videos from the moment we receive them. However, we can’t control the shipping process. Occasionally, boxes will get bumped or dropped during transit which can potentially damage the memories inside. This is why we highly recommend learning how to pack, box, and ship photographs, videos, and other memories carefully so they reach our facility safely.
Turn to our organization page to learn how to pack specific items. This is a great place to start before you begin the digitization process. Next, follow these best practices to increase your chances of a safe transit process. Taking a few extra steps to learn how to pack, box, and ship photographs, videos and the rest of your memories safely will be worth it.
1. Gather Your Materials
You will need more than your photos and a box to pack your memories. There are a few extra items that can keep your items secure. Here’s what you need.
- Rubber bans
- Plastic bags (For example, Ziploc sandwich bags and gallon bags)
- A Sharpie or pen to label each group of memories
- Masking tape or cards to write on so the pen ink doesn’t bleed through
- Extra packing materials (like crumpled-up newspaper pages) to prevent your memories from shifting during transit
While you are gathering your materials, make sure you also have a secure box that isn’t wearing out or could potentially tear. Pick up some extra packing tape to ensure you can completely seal your memories.
2. Sort Through Your Photos
Before you can pack your memories, it is important to sort and organize them. This is a great opportunity to go through your prints before you ship them out. The organization process will be one of the more time-consuming aspects of the project, but the results are worth it.
There are multiple ways to organize your memories. Some people group different sets of prints by year, which can help if you have a lot of loose photos collected over the past few decades. Other people group photos by event (Ex. John and Mary’s wedding, Annie’s 10th birthday, etc.) which makes it easier to locate specific images later on.
Our team at Memory Fortress cannot label individual prints, but we can group photos into different folders. Once you have your memories organized, wrap them in a rubber band and place them in a plastic bag. Label this bag (or add a piece of paper with the label) with the name you want us to use for the collection of photos.
As you pack your memories, you can also take time to remove photo prints from albums. While you can ship entire albums directly to Memory Fortress, they will cost more to scan. Albums are also bulky and cost more to ship. You can save money by removing them and placing them in labeled bags instead.
3. Ask About Packing Special Items
We have a guide for packing every type of media from loose photos to film packets and even floppy discs. Check out this page if you need to know how to pack certain items so they aren’t damaged during the transit process.
If you have an unusual item or media form to be digitized, don’t hesitate to call us at 678-579-2249. We are more than happy to discuss specialty items and learn more about your scanning needs. Not only can we help you better pack your memories, but we can also learn about your project on this call in order to prepare our team.
There is good news as you pack your memories: you can put multiple forms of media in the same box. This can help you save on shipping costs because you won’t need to start different digitization projects for photos, videos, and slides.
4. Estimate the Number of Items You Have
You don’t need an exact count of every photo you ship to our office, but it helps both you and us if there is a reasonable estimate of what to expect. First, the more photos you send us (and other types of media) the more you can save on your project. If you are close to a savings threshold, you might want to check through your drawers and cabinets to see if you missed anything.
This estimate can also prepare our team. If we know a larger order is coming, we can allocate enough resources to complete the job quickly. This means you get your digital scans faster and your analog memories returned sooner.
Gather your estimate before you start your order. This will make the process faster and you can immediately ship your memories afterward.
5. Choose the Right Size Box
Once your memories are ready to be sent, find a high-quality box to ship them to us. Too often, our team receives poorly-packed boxes that break or wear out during transit. This puts your memories at risk. The last thing you want is for your photos and videos to fall out during the transit process.
Choose a box that is big enough to hold all of your memories. Overpacking a box could cause it to burst during transit and you might not be able to tape it closed. Plus, this also creates a challenge on our end. We might not be able to reseal your memories in the same box.
However, you also don’t want to choose a box that is too big. Otherwise, your memories will move around during the shipping process and could break.
Find a box that has a little extra room and then fill the space with protective packaging. This could range from crumpled-up newspaper pages to packing peanuts and bags of air from an Amazon order. You can also use this packing material to keep your Ziploc bags from knocking against each other during the shipping process.
6. Seal the Box Tight
This cannot be stressed enough. Make sure your box is taped carefully and thoroughly as you pack your memories. Make sure the tape isn’t coming undone and that the box is fully closed. We recommend using clear packing tape to seal the box. This is more effective than masking tape.
Before you seal the box, include a page of information that tells us what we are receiving. This should include a few basic details:
- Your Name
- Phone Number
- Estimated Quantities of Items
- Any Instructions
- How You Would Like Your Memories Delivered (Cloud, USB, DVD, etc.)
We frequently receive boxes of memories without any identifying information. This slows the scanning process and could limit our ability to complete the project.
Once your memories are safely packed, head to the nearest UPS or FedEx office. These two companies are used by 98% of Memory Fortress customers. You should receive a tracking number to keep an eye on your box so you know that it is safe. You can also send that number to firstname.lastname@example.org so we know to look out for your package.
Your Work is Done And Your Memories Are Safe
By following this guide, you can learn how to pack, box, and ship your photographs, videos, and other memories in the best way possible. This ensures that you did everything in your power to make sure they arrived safely. Our team will take it from here. (To learn more about our process, see how we protect your photos once they arrive.)
If you are ready to pack your memories and ship them to our team, start your order today. You can take the first steps to enjoy digital prints and videos that are sharable and protected from any natural elements.