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The Mercury News: “What to do with your old photos and papers”

Marni at home - The Mercury News: "What to do with your old photos and papers"
Award-winning journalists, author, and speaker, Marni Jameson. Photo courtesy of Marni Jameson (c).

What to do with your old photos and papers

This nationally syndicated article by “At Home With Marni Jameson” on the urgency to digitize pictures was reported by Award-Winning Journalist Marni Jameson, America’s most beloved home and lifestyle columnist.

In addition to writing a weekly nationally syndicated column on all things home, Marni is the author of three best-selling books.

Her most recent book, “DOWNSIZING THE FAMILY HOME: What to Keep, What to Let Go” (Sterling), is a No.1 Amazon bestseller and it is the definitive guide for anyone cleaning out the family home.

If you are a fan of Real Simple, O Magazine, Martha Stewart and the top unclutter and organizing professionals, Marni eclipses all and wrote the primer, actually many. The author, syndicated columnist, and speaker now tackles what to do with your lifetime of memorabilia, pictures, and more for today’s all-digital world with this column syndicated in the top 25 U.S. newspapers. As a humblebrag, is grateful for the mention to help many preserve their irreplaceable photo memories.

Excerpt:  “You still have boxes of Mom and Dad’s stuff?” I twist my finger in my ear to make sure I’m hearing clearly. I’m on the phone with my brother who’s 3,000 miles away in California. He’s moving, prompting this confession to his sister, the purge queen.

Our parents have both passed on, Mom, most recently, two years ago. Now Craig tells me he’s been holding onto boxes of their stuff because “I can’t bring myself to go through them.”

So much for my plan to plow through the boxes in one afternoon, and send an edited pile of photos to, where high-speed scanners reduce mountain heaps of snapshots into tidy DVDs in minutes.

The scanners are working overtime lately after a year of hurricanes and wildfires, says owner Mitch Goldstone. “Times like these make people realize all can be gone in a flash.”

I’ve called to tell him about the mess I’m in. He gives me a pep talk. “Every day I see photos and documents destroyed by mildew, moisture, high temperatures, dirt and bugs. Those old storage boxes will just disintegrate,” says Goldstone, whose company scans 300,000 photos a day, which is nothing when you consider that Americans have 3.5 trillion analog photos sitting in shoeboxes taking up storage space and risking permanent loss.

However, the biggest enemy of all, he adds, is procrastination.

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The story: Marni Jameson is one of America’s most-loved home and lifestyle columnists. Her humorous and helpful column appears in 25 papers nationwide, reaching 7 million readers each week. Jameson is the author of three critically acclaimed books: Downsizing the Family Home (Sterling), The House Always Wins (Da Capo), and House of Havoc (Da Capo). She has written for many magazines, including Woman’s Day and Family Circle, and major metropolitan newspapers. A frequent guest on local and national TV and radio, Jameson has appeared on a wide range of programs, including NBC Nightly News, Martha Stewart Living, and Fox and Friends