Day 6: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 6: 31 Day Photo Decluttering Challenge

Friday, October 6, 2017

Day 6: 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 creating a timeline to help you sort your photos, especially your loose printed photos.

Today's Photo Decluttering Tip - create a timeline to help you sort photos

If you have a lot of loose photos, old framed photos, or a lot of photo albums, it can be hard to know when you have duplicate photos because they are in so many different mediums. To help locate doubles and declutter your collection, make a timeline that reflects the time periods represented by your photos. This can include major events in your life, but should especially focus on different "eras" in your life.

Here are some examples of eras you may find in your photos:

  • Your great grandparents or earlier generations
  • Your grandparents
  • Your parents' childhoods
  • Your parents' young adult years (career, marriage, family life, etc.)
  • Your early childhood
  • Your elementary school years
  • Your high school years
  • Your college / university / young adult years
  • Your early married life / family life
  • Your children's early years
  • Your children's school years (can be broken down into elementary, high school, etc.)
  • Your children's married years
  • Your grandchildren's early years
  • Your grandchildren's school years
  • Your retirement years

These are just ideas. You can incorporate any categories you want, based on your photos and your life situation. You can ask family members for help if you need to.

Once you've established a broad timeline for your photos, use it as you're sorting your photos. You can make piles for each era or put each era's photos in a different box. Whatever works best.

Depending on how many photos you have, this may take up quite a bit of space. After you sort all your photos into your broad categories you can further break each era down, especially if you have a lot of photos in any of your piles.

If you have a lot of photos then you may want to pack up some of your piles and just work on one era at a time so it's not overwhelming. Make sure you label each pile or box so you can keep it all organized.

You can do a similar thing with your digital pictures but it's usually a little easier because you can sort them by date taken. But for scanned photos they usually are saved with the date you scan them so you may need to sort those photos by era yourself.

Whether you're sorting printed photos or digital photos, the key is gathering photos from similar eras together so you can see how much you have and identify if you have doubles or extra photos.

My Photo Decluttering Progress

I will get back to decluttering my digital pics soon, but I'm really enjoying going through my old photo albums. I went through one more album and decluttered 129 pictures, which was about 2/3 of the album. It was a little easier to let go of pictures in this album because I started getting into sets of pictures where there were multiple shots of an event and I could choose just the best ones to keep.

So far I've decluttered 216 printed photos, which is nearly 1/2 of the albums I've gone through so far. I'm feeling good about that ratio and my photo decluttering muscles are warming up :) 

Your Turn!

Today's task is to create your timeline. Think through the various eras that are represented in your photos. If you gathered all your photos at the beginning of this challenge, then group them according to your timeline. Once you've grouped your photos by era, see if there are any obvious duplicates you can declutter. If you're planning to scan your pictures, keep the largest size printed photo to increase the quality of your scan.

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: