Day 1 of the Declutter Your Digital Life Challenge
Declutter and Organize Your Digital Photos
The first day of my 7 day, 15 minute Digital Declutter Challenge is decluttering and organizing your digital photos. Now, I know full well it is going to take more than 15 minutes to declutter and organize ALL of your photos! However, I think 15 minutes a day is a good place to start. If you’re feeling extremely motivated, by all means go for it ( I see you overachievers out there!). But, the beauty of the 15 minutes a day is that you can get a good start decluttering and organizing your digital photos.
For the first day, I want you to spend 15 minutes (and only 15 minutes) deciding where you will organize your photos. I personally have my photos automatically going to two separate places: Google Photos and Photos on my iPhone. I love some of the features on Google Photos and my husband and I share our albums so we can easily access each other’s photos. However, sometimes when using all Apple products it is just easier to access the photos if you have them in Photos as well. Both systems are incredibly advanced as far as categorizing photos by person, place, and time. My digital photos are automatically backed up to two clouds. If you are not using a cloud system, I would highly recommend investing in one. If you feel more comfortable backing up to a hard drive, then by all means do that. For highest security, do both. The article Best Ways to Back Up Photos talks about many ways to back up your photos if you are looking for other options!
Helpful Hint: Don’t start with the most recent photos
Don’t start with the most recent photos! I find (with most organizing) that the most recent items feel the most relevant and therefore, important. Even just a week old picture of something random at WalMart feels harder to delete than some crazy kid selfie from 2015. Go back in time and start from your earliest and just keep organizing from there. Start with just 15 minutes a day. Little by little over time, you will build some momentum. If you have already created albums for past years, no need to reinvent the wheel, start back where you left off. If you feel you want to cut down even further, you can always go back and edit. Just remember, you will always be adding new photos so you will never be “done.” You are just creating a system, a habit, and a method to get your photos organized in a way that works for you.
Declutter Your Digital Photos
I think deleting photos is a REALLY hard thing to do, especially if they are photos of your kids. To help with this, I create an album of that year or month. I like to think about giving this album as a gift. Who knows, maybe one day when we aren’t moving our lives every two years I might actually print these out! But for now, If the picture is not “album worthy” then it gets deleted. Same for duplicates or if I took a few pictures of the same shot. I pick the best one that I want to keep and then I try to delete the rest. Same goes for my kids’ “spam” photos. You know the ones where they gift you 100 pics of them in super close up mode making faces. Yeah, I delete ALL of those… except the worst one. That goes to the blackmail folder *insert evil laugh.*
Organize Your Digital Photos
Google Photos and Photos are amazing at face recognition and locations. This makes it super simple to create albums around one person or a special vacation. A few other categories that I like to include are holidays, birthdays and first and last day of school. I’m always trying to reference these quickly, so it’s nice to have them already in an album that I can refer back to quickly.
Decluttering and Organizing your Digital Photos is an Ongoing Process
So, if you are really intent on organizing your photos all at once, go for it. However, I tried this one summer and quickly got overwhelmed. I find now that it works better to organize my photos a little at a time. If I’m sitting watching TV at night, I can take 15 minutes and organize one category. While waiting at a kid’s practice or activity, I can easily go through and delete the random memes or pics I sent my friends. Take 15 minutes, do as much as you can in that time, and then move on. Give yourself grace and realize that digital photos are one of the never ending categories along with email or files. You will always be taking pictures, so now you are just trying to put them into categories that you understand and that you can retrieve quickly!
Wanna take the 7 Day, 15 minute Declutter Your Digital Life Challenge? Read more about it here! Have some awesome tips or tricks that have worked for you? Please leave a comment below. I am always happy to hear new and creative ways to stay on top of my own organization.