Day 19: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 19: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 19: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge




Got a lot of photos? Do you want to be able to enjoy your pictures instead of having to search and search to find your favourites? Does the thought of tackling your photo collection seem so overwhelming that you keep putting it off? Me too!

That's why this month I'm hosting the 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge! Each day I'll share tips to help you declutter your photo collection so you can really treasure and enjoy all the best ones. And I'll share my progress as I declutter my photos along with you :)

Today I'm talking about how you can set up your folder structure for your digital pictures.


Today's Photo Decluttering Tip - Set up a Folder Structure for your Digital Pics


A few days ago I shared options for organizing your photos. We discussed pros and cons of organizing them chronologically or thematically. Or possibly a combination of both. Today I want to take that a step further and help you organize your folders on your computer to make it easier to find your photos back.

A chronological folder structure is fairly straight forward and your photo organizing software may automatically save your photos chronologically. Here are a couple of options you can consider:

  • One folder per year, with monthly folders within each yearly folder
    • 2016
      • 01 (January)
      • 02 (February)
      • 03 (March)
      • 04 (April)
      • etc.
    • 2017
      • 01 (January)
      • 02 (February)
      • 03 (March)
      • 04 (April)
      • etc.
  • One folder per year, with individual dates pictures were taken within each yearly folder
    • 2016
      • 2016-01-05
      • 2016-01-23
      • 2016-02-11
      • 2016-03-19
      • etc.
    • 2017
      • 2017-01-01
      • 2017-01-16
      • 2017-02-09
      • 2017-02-28
      • etc.
  • One folder for each individual date pictures were taken
    • 2017-04-17
    • 2017-04-30
    • 2017-05-12
    • 2017-06-03
    • etc.

Note that whichever option you choose, ensure that your folders are numbered in a way that keeps them chronological. For example, for the first option, having the numbers in front of the months helps keep them in order (otherwise they would default to alphabetical order and they wouldn't be chronological). Likewise for the second and third options, make sure your folders are all in year-month-day format so they remain in chronological order. 

I currently use the third folder structure. Mainly because my software program did it that way as a default setting. But I'd like to switch over to the first option because my list of folders is crazy long the way I have it now. And when I switched cameras at one point, the date structure wasn't year-month-day so those folders are out of order. I really need to overhaul my whole folder structure :) 

If you choose to organize your photos thematically, your folder structure will reflect this. It might look something like this:

  • Vacations
    • 2015 Disney World
    • 2016 Caribbean Cruise
    • 2017 Dominican Republic
  • Christmas
    • 2015
    • 2016
    • 2017
  • Birthdays
    • Child #1
      • 2015
      • 2016
      • 2017
    • Child #2
      • 2015
      • 2016
      • 2017
    • Mom
      • 2015
      • 2016
      • 2017

It really depends on what your themes are but you can see how it could work. And within your themes you can still sort chronologically so you can find pictures back within each theme. 

If you have a lot of older photos that you've scanned that you don't know exact dates for, you can add a folder before your chronological folders with a date range. For example:

  • 1900-1920 Great Grandparents
  • 1920-1940 Grandparents
  • 1940-1960 Parents

You can adjust the dates to fit your family's history but this gives you the idea. Then you could continue on with a chronological structure because the years will put these in front of your other folders. Or you could remove the date ranges and just have themes for each generation's pictures. 

So many options to choose from! It may take you a little while to establish your folder structure and organize your photos within the appropriate folders, but in the long run it will save you time when you're searching for particular photos. 


My Photo Decluttering Progress


Today was a busy day so I didn't do any photo decluttering. I'll continue tomorrow!


Your Turn!


Today your task is to determine which folder structure will work best for your photo collection and how you will search for you photos in the future. This should be based on how you decided to organize your photos a couple of days ago, but now you can flesh out the details and get started setting up your folder stucture. Once you've decluttered your pictures you can move them into the folders you create.




If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.



How are you doing in the 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge so far? How do you think today's tip will help you? What photos are you decluttering today? What folder structure do you have or plan to have?

Happy decluttering and organizing!






Here are the rest of the posts in this challenge:




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I love hearing from my readers! This is a great place to ask questions, answer questions, and share your organizing tips. Thank you so much for commenting! I look forward to getting to know you better :)