Day 3: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 3: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Day 3: 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 determining your vision for how you want to enjoy your photos in the future. Keeping this vision in mind while you're decluttering your pictures this month will help you make decisions about what to keep and what to purge.

Today's Photo Decluttering Tip - Decide How You Want To Enjoy Your Photos

There are so many ways we can enjoy our photos. Here are a few common ways that you may be considering:

  • Photo albums
  • Scrapbooks
  • Photo boxes
  • Photo books
  • Digital scrapbooks
  • Digital slideshows
  • Framed pictures / collages

There are pros and cons of each method of enjoying photographs. It's really up to you to decide, based on how much space you have available, how you prefer to share pics, who else will be enjoying your photos with you, etc.

Based on feedback I've been getting so far in this challenge, it seems many people are decluttering old photos with the intention of scanning them and then being able to share them online or creating photo books with them. Others are decluttering digital pics with the goal of creating albums or framing their favourites.

It's important to decide on this before you start decluttering because it can impact what you decide to keep or let go of. Also, when you're getting bogged down as the month goes on, it helps you stay motivated when you can imagine your lovely photos being enjoyed after this is all over.

My Vision For Enjoying My Photos

For me, I'm planning to switch everything over to photo books eventually. This involves 3 different types of decluttering:

  1. I will be going through all my old albums, removing the pictures I'm keeping, and temporarily storing them in photo boxes until I can scan them. Once everything is digitized I will gradually create photo books with my favourite photos. 
  2. I will go through the albums I made of my kids' early years (these were pics taken on a digital camera), choose the best photos out of all of them (I printed WAY too many of them at the time LOL!), and temporarily store them in photo boxes so I can use them later to identify which digital pictures I will use when I create photo books. 
  3. I will declutter my digital pics and keep the best photos to use when creating photo books (in conjunction with some of the photos from step 2). 

Creating the photo books at the end of all this will be a long-term project. But knowing I've decluttered my photos down to my favourites will help make that process easier. And knowing my ultimate goal is to create photo books out of just my favourites will help me keep only the very best pics. 

I'll share more later in this series about the process I've used previously for creating photo books, but if you're thinking of making your own photo books, I wanted to mention one site I've used personally now.

I used Blurb a few months ago to make a 13th birthday photo book for my son's 13th birthday. It was very easy to learn how to use the program and the book turned out beautiful. You can make wedding books, baby books, travel books, or any other kind of photo book you want.

Check it out if you're interested and let me know if you have any questions about the process. They have sales quite frequently so I'll try to keep you posted when they have one next.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Blurb because I like them and recommend them, so I will make a small commission if you click my link and end up making a purchase on their site. There's no extra cost to you though and it helps cover some of the expenses of running this blog. Thank you :)

My Photo Decluttering Progress

So far I've mainly focused on decluttering my digital pictures. When I saw the total of 45,000+ photos for yesterday's post, I realized that there were some duplicates on my laptop. I did a bit of research to find out about duplicate photo finder software and tried one out. There are lots of options and I'll talk more about those later in this series.

Most duplicate photo finders have different setting levels but for my first pass I decided to set it to just find exact duplicates (based on file names and other meta data). It created a LONG list of groups of duplicate photos and then I could go through and decide which photo within each group I wanted to keep. It took a few hours (off and on) to go through the list but after I was done I had deleted over 5000 pictures and only had one copy in the proper folder saved on my laptop.

I also deleted some pictures manually from some other folders on my laptop that weren't included in my initial tally.

Here's my current total in my Pictures folder:

I've added some pictures that I found on some other folders on my laptop since my initial 47,765 total, and I downloaded some photos from my camera that I forgot to download before, so my current total doesn't completely reflect the 5000+ pics that I deleted, but I'm still down 4409 pictures overall! 

Your Turn!

Today's task is to determine your vision for how you will enjoy your pictures after you declutter them. Do you want to flip through albums or photo books? Have organized boxes of photos? Share slideshows with your friends and family?

Keep that vision in front of you as go through this month. There may be some days when you feel like throwing in the towel, but imagine yourself looking through your favourite pictures and remembering the people and events they remind you of.

Once you've decided on your vision, take a bit of time today to declutter some more "easy" photos. For printed photos, toss some blurry ones. For digital photos, delete some of those pics you take to remind you of things but that you really don't need to keep forever (products/prices when you're shopping, parking spaces, things you want to ask someone about, etc.).

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?

Happy decluttering and organizing!

Here are the rest of the posts in this challenge: