4 Reasons to declutter your digital photosApril 16, 2021
Photos are one of the hardest things to declutter because they are so precious to most of us. As a professional photo organiser, I regularly come across very substantial digital photo collections, we’re talking 60,000 plus photos. And that doesn’t include the printed photos that most people still have.
In this day and age, most of us struggle with digital photos and simply feel completely overwhelmed. No wonder when we think about these figures and how fast technology changes.
You might think that it doesn’t matter how many digital photos you have. They’re on your computer’s hard drive or in the cloud. They’re invisible and don’t bother you like a chaotic living room would do.
However, just because they are invisible doesn’t mean that they don’t have an effect on us. Let’s think about this for a moment and look at 4 reasons why I think decluttering digital photos is beneficial:
1) Less overwhelm
I believe digital clutter is just as stressful as physical, more visible clutter. Yes, it is easier to find things because you can simply use the search function. However, that only works if you are using good naming conventions, tags etc. It will take ages to find that one picture of you and your child at the beach if the photo’s file name is IMG_01223.jpg and you’re not sure about the capture date. The fewer photos you have, the faster and less stressful it will be to find one.
2) Less cost
Digital storage space might not be as expensive as real estate but still, it costs you money. The more photos you need to store, the bigger the hard drive or cloud storage space needs to be. I hear you say: ‘But I can get that for free!’ Yes, there are some free services but let me tell you, they come at a cost. No good cloud service is for free – ever! It has become the new normal to pay for cloud storage, but most of us are interested in keeping expenses low.
3) More free time
The more photos you have to curate, the more time it takes (plus money if you outsource it). Yes, modern technology is getting better every day, just think facial recognition. But it still takes time, which is very valuable. The time I’m talking about is not only the time you need to curate your collection. It is also staying on top of things with regards to software, learning a new program, backing up, creating photo books and other fun stuff with your images (hint: the better your photos are organised, the faster these projects will be done).
4) More joy and meaning
I hate to break it to you, but nobody wants to inherit 100,000 photos or more. You wouldn’t want that, neither do your children or other loved ones. What they want is a meaningful photo collection. Fewer photos and more stories. Think about it for a moment. We are taking photos because we want to remember and tell a story. Looking at the photo takes us back to that moment in time. However, if one doesn’t know who is in the photo, where it was taken, why this person was there etc., it becomes meaningless. Hence, less is definitely more, especially if you can also add a story to the photo.
Still struggle to declutter?
If you still struggle to let go of digital photos and to make your collection a bit smaller, there is a different approach. I’ll tell you about it in an upcoming blog post. If you are not receiving my newsletter yet (also check the junk folder if in doubt), you can sign up below so you’ll never miss a post again.
You can also download our free guide here to find out ‘How to Stop Procrastinating about your Photos’ and / or read more about decluttering photos in these posts:
- How to declutter and let go of photos
- How to declutter and organise phone screenshots
- Episode 39: ‘Photos that don’t belong into a photo collection’
- Episode 60 ‘How many photos do we really need?’
Happy photo organising!