Keeping favorite memories safe (plus my family photos from the 70s, 80s, and 90s).

Keeping favorite memories safe (plus my family photos from the 70s, 80s, and 90s).

This post is sponsored by Legacybox. Get 40% off when you give it a try! Find the code below.

When I told my husband I was thinking about giving Legacybox a try, I expected him to ask me some questions, or at least think about it for a minute or ten. But he didn’t have to think about it: he surprised me by saying we have to do that right now.

Legacybox is a service that digitizes your home movies and old photos to keep them safe and make them easy to enjoy. I had no idea how much the box of precious family memories we’d been storing on a basement shelf was stressing out my husband. He was so worried something would happen to them before we’d taken the steps to preserve them.

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When you get the ball rolling with Legacybox, they send you a kit that includes a guide, a crush-proof box, and access to a personal concierge if you’re in need of expert help.

You fill the box with any format of outdated memories you want: we sent in VHS tapes, photos, and a few 35mm negatives, but they also process everything from cassette tapes to eight tracks to film reels. You drop the box in the mail (shipping is included, both ways). In a few weeks you receive your originals back along with DVDs and digital files ready to share and enjoy.

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I was a little unprepared for how fun—and emotional—the process of culling old memories would be. Will and I did the deep dive on a Saturday morning. We made a pot of coffee, pulled our giant Rubbermaid tote filled with old memories out of the basement, and spread them all over the floor to see what we had.

We uncovered so many old favorites we hadn’t seen in years.

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We spent way longer than necessary culling our items because we couldn’t resist looking at every photo. Once we’d decided what we wanted to preserve, we packed everything up for Legacybox. They send you a sheet of barcode stickers to attach to all your items, so you can track where your precious memories are every step of the way.

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We shipped off our box and a few weeks later we received back all the original contents … plus this: a DVD and a thumb drive that represents the digitized contents of our entire box.

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The kids’ favorite part of the process was unquestionably Will’s highlight video from his high school football team. (I feel so much better knowing this is now safely preserved instead of languishing on our basement shelves.)

My favorite part was the great photos from the late 1970s and early 1980s:

Martha Dave Ward Anne 1978

my mom with two of her brothers, holding a very tiny me (1978)

Dad and Me Hank and Anne 1979

my dad and me (1979)

Anne 1982 backyard swingset

me on the swingset (1982-ish)

Will and Anne photobooth 1997

photobooth snaps from when Will and I were dating (1997)

Anne and Will up the tower 1999

Will and I ringing the bell in our college bell tower, per tradition, because we’d just gotten engaged (1999)

Anne wedding veil 2000

the morning of my wedding, getting my hair done and veil set (2000)

As we were going through the Legacybox process I couldn’t help but think what a fabulous gift this would be for my parents or grandparents. We converted to digital photography shortly after our first child was born, and we still had a lot to convert. But my parents have piles of photos and VHS tapes that I suspect they’d love to enjoy again. I’m definitely keeping this in mind for Mother’s Day or Christmas.

Want to try Legacybox for yourself? I’ve got a BIG discount code for you! The first 50 people who you use the code DARCY at checkout will receive 40% off their Legacybox order! Click here to get started.

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  1. Anjanette says:

    Thank you, Anne, I just ordered this as a gift for my parents, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary next week. I think they will love it, and I must admit, it’s a sneaky gift for myself as well- I can’t wait to see the unearthed and curated collection of their half century together!

  2. Katherine says:

    We are in the process of down-sizing my father from our family house to a smaller home. Despite my sister’s mighty efforts over the years as a Creative Memories consultant, we have found PILES of old photos. I will have to order this for him.

    PS Did you wear the same shirt on your wedding day as on your engagement on purpose? That’s so cute!

    • Anne says:

      I didn’t realize I wore the same shirt until we were digging through the photo box! It was a favorite in college, and for wedding morning hair I needed a button-down …. 🙂

  3. This sounds way better than having to buy a scanner and organize all those scanned in photos yourself! I love the idea of preserving everything digitally (even if it’s not as fun as a scrapbook, if you’re careful, there’s no way to lose it!). And that USB drive is pretty awesome looking – well designed tech is an amazing thing 😉

  4. Rebecca F says:

    This is awesome! I would love to do this, but we just moved and all of our stuff is still in storage. Will they offer any discounts in the future? If so, I will definitely order one once we get our stuff delivered.

    • Susan says:

      I bought this for my husband for xmas, but we haven’t sent anything in yet. As to the question on whether they will offer discounts in the future, yes! Since purchasing before the holidays, I receive emails frequently with discount codes of 40%+. Definitely don’t pay full price!

  5. MaryAnn H-T says:

    I agree–it’s great fun looking back at photos and videos and remembering great times and people (who may or may not be with us anymore). A caution, though about storing photos on DVD’s–they do NOT last forever (I understand that information stored on DVDs may last only 10 years or so). The back-up on a thumb drive is a little better, but the best way to back up photos, videos, etc is to put them on an external (removable) hard drive which is only used for storage of these items. I just learned about all of this recently and I’m glad I did, since I have a lot of very old photos on CDs and DVDs that I wouldn’t want to lose.

  6. Melanie says:

    Are the files that they send back editable? If I uploaded them to Premier Pro could I cut and paste? We’ve got some looooong boring sections of our home videos that I’d love to edit into something more enjoyable to watch.

  7. Grace says:

    Aw, what a cool service. I actually just spent a day last month taking our older photos and scanning them onto the computer. I love looking back through old pictures.

  8. JerryT says:

    I duped all of my family photos with my own digital camera. The files are saved as .JPG on a hard drive which is backed up. Saving all your memories to DVD is a reliable way of doing so, but it should be remembered that DVDs (and CD-ROMs) do not necessarily have an unlimited life. There is really no way to guarantee permanently photos. Media in use varies over time. Not even the ancient JPG has a guaranteed life expectancy that stretches on into a distant future.

  9. ARBM says:

    This is such a great idea for a service. I’ve been meaning to scan and save my old photos and negatives, I just haven’t gotten around to it. It would be so much fun to get all my parents’ old photos scanned too!

  10. I have almost that exact picture from when I got engaged in 2006, complete with life size cardboard Amy Grant! I wonder how many colleges have that tradition? And here I thought that was a uniquely strange Wheaton College tradition!

  11. Vikki says:

    What a great service! This would be a perfect gift for my husband for our 20th anniversary this summer. Thanks for sharing!

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