5 Minutes a Day keeps the Photo Clutter Monster away

November 12, 2021

Have you heard of ‘5 minutes a day keeps the clutter away?’ It’s the same with photos – let’s tackle that photo mess so the clutter monster has no chance!   5 Minutes a Day keeps the Photo Clutter Monster away

Organised people have systems and routines in place to keep on top of things. Without systems and routines, the clutter monster will take over fairly quickly. It’s just the same with photos. If we want to avoid complete overwhelm, we need to put in place some good habits. All it takes is a few minutes a day. Please note that – in this example – I’m talking about photos on your phone camera roll.


1.   Frequency

As the title says, I suggest taking 5 minutes every day. Yep, every single day! Why so often? Because that’s the antidote to overwhelm. I have no authority over you of course and you can do whatever you want. If you want to do this once a week, that’s totally up to you. And some weeks might be ok, others might become tricky because you deal with many more photos than you usually would. For example, if you’ve been at an event or enjoyed some travelling.

Right then … get into a routine to check your camera roll on a daily basis. If you’re done in 10 seconds, fine. If you want to go longer than 5 minutes, that’s fine, too. I’m the last person to stop you from working with your photos. You know yourself best, so choose a frequency that works for you.

I had to learn over the years that I can’t handle things if I have to do them every other day or so. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s usually all or nothing (silly example: flossing). Once monthly is the same, that works okay-ish. But I struggle with bi-monthly, no idea why. If you need to set the alarm or a reminder, do so by all means. Whatever works best for you. A good old trick is actually the next tip:









2.   Tie it to an existing habit

Make it easier for yourself by tying a habit you want to build to an existing one. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Using public transport every day and checking your social media accounts during that time? Start by working through your photos for 5 minutes first, then check your socials.
  • Watching the news on TV every night? Make it a habit to take those 5 minutes for your photos after the news.
  • Reading news online every morning? Again, do your 5 minutes photo management either before or just after.

Have a think about what would make the most sense to you. What would disrupt your daily routines the least? Try it out and give it a go. Nothing is ever set in stone, so if you don’t find the solution at first, keep trying until you find what works for you.





3.   What do you do during those 5 minutes


  • Most importantly, cull! Go through your latest photos and delete what you don’t need or want. If you have similar photos, pick the best and delete the rest! Decluttering – or in our case deleting photos – is helping to minimise our photo collection. I assure you, you’ll still have more than enough photos.
  • Move screenshots and photos that you took as a reference or to-do to a note or task management app (check out this post for details).
  • Once the weeding is done, choose your favourites (love-heart).
  • Depending on your phone, you could even add a caption (now possible on iPhones). This is not just for fun, it actually makes your photos more searchable and is worth the effort. Extra tip: use the dictation feature rather than typing!
  • Share photos.
  • Create something fun like a mini-slideshow / memory with photos from an event.

If worse comes to worst and you’re all up to date after 30 seconds, you can always work more on your backlog (if you have unactioned photos there). Extra tip: if you do work on your backlog, always note where you left it at. Otherwise, I guarantee you’re going to work through the same pile 3 times …

Good luck taming that clutter monster – you can totally do this!


PS: if you do struggle, don’t forget you can book a free 30-minute call with me and we’ll figure out a plan for you. You can see my availability and book your call here



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