People have been asking me about my project, so I wanted to share it with you here in easy steps. I will warn you that this is a big project. It's very time consuming. My family has thousands of photos, so organizing all of them is definitely not a weekend project. And many of the supplies I'm using are not cheap. The hard drive alone is pretty pricey, but I'm thinking of this as an investment and a way of preserving all my family photographs.
1. A computer. This can be Apple or PC, desktop or laptop. It doesn't matter as long as you can use your photo scanner software and organize files with an external drive.
2. CanoScan 9000F. I love this scanner. The software is easy to use and I've been happy with the quality of photos that it scans in. If you don't want to use this scanner, make sure you get one that is a photo quality scanner, not a document scanner. The photo scanner can capture higher resolution photos than the document scanner can. I always set mine to the highest settings, so I get the biggest photographs. That is my personal preference, but to save space you can save a lower setting. Play with your scanner to see what works for you.
3. External hard drive. I'm currently using a hard disk drive (HDD), but will soon be upgrading to a solid state drive (SSD). The solid state drives are significantly more expensive, but since they have no moving parts they are less luckily to break down over time. This is really up to you, but I recommend purchasing a high quality hard drive to protect your files.
4. An archival photo box. There are many types of photo boxes, all with different prices. Like the hard drive, I recommend getting high quality photo boxes to preserve your photos. The one linked in this section is a great box for storing and protecting your photos that won't go in your album.
5. A fire and waterproof safe. There's really no point of putting all your photos on a hard drive, if that hard drive isn't protected. If you have a fire or flood, the hard drive will be damaged along with the originals. I think it's important to have a small fire and waterproof safe that you can store your hard drive in. I never thought flood protection would be necessary for me, until my basement recently flooded. Life happens and it's important to keep your files stored in a safe place.