Did you gather your photos together last month? Have you been able to sort through some of them? Photos are tricky. Tied up with emotions, so many out-of-focus images require a lot of thought and energy to eliminate.
While it can be easy to think that photo boxes don’t take up much space (and digital photos take up “no” space), it you don’t eliminate the images that aren’t worth keeping, then they can make it more difficult to find the ones you do care about. For more in-depth suggestions, go to this article.
Last month, you gathered together print photos, so you could more clearly see how many photos you have to sort through. You also considered why you were saving photos. Do you want to share photos with family members? Do you want to sell or give as gifts some of your best photos?
You can scan photos that you want to keep but don’t feel the need to hold onto physical photos. Photo organizers recommend backing up photos in three ways – a print, saved to your computer, or saves on an external hard drive, flash drive, or different cloud services. If you have photos that are important to you, plan to back-up these images.
Do you have a box (or several) of photos – sorted or unsorted (maybe even still in the envelopes from where you got the photos printed)? It can take a long time to sort through photos … you get caught up in memories and stories of the places you visited on vacation, of the people in the photos (Who is that? What’s his name?), of the events that seemed photo-worthy.
On other days, for other tasks, you’ve looked at the photographs you have displayed in your home and you may have even worked through some of your digital photos.
Today, gather any boxes of photos and photo albums and bring them to a central location. When you have the chance to look at these printed photographs, you’ll have them all in one place.
It isn’t necessary to keep every photograph, particularly if you have several that are similar – select the best to keep.
Want advice on sorting and saving photographs? Check out this article.
A few days ago, you looked at the photographs you had on display in frames or tacked onto a corkboard. Today, look in a photo box or a digital file folder (or, if you have them, photo processing envelopes).
I remember years ago, going to a company outing and taking lots of photographs. This was back in the days of film, so I printed doubles of everything and left one set at work so people could take the photos they wanted and then I’d have a set for myself. Why did I need them?
Not a clue. I stored them in a neat photo box, but I didn’t look at them, for years. At one point, I was sorting through the box and realized I hadn’t seen some of these people in over a decade and I couldn’t remember some of their names. Why was I keeping these images? The fact that they were organized and labeled in a box meant that I’d held onto them for longer than I may have otherwise.
So, don’t overlook those photos stored by date and event in photo boxes or stored in digital files. You’re limited to a 15-minute purge, so if it takes you a quarter of an hour to locate the photo boxes, know the next time you sit in front of the television, drag out the box and pull out the blurry and over- or under-exposed images (that’s the easy part).
Then, toss the photos that are meaningless … people and places you can’t identify. If you keep photos, you are saying they are important enough to store … are they?
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.