GO! Challenge #31: Photos

Organizing Photos.  Today’s challenge is to trash 31 photos.

The first step towards getting organized is always de-cluttering. All this month we have been tackling categories of belongings with the goal of shedding unwanted items. I hope you have felt empowered by the Get Organized! Challenge, and perhaps are energized to continue your purge into the future.

It wasn’t easy to think of a category from which you could find 31 pieces to release, but I believe photographs fit this qualification. Photos pile up for many reasons, and because they hold sentimental value, we resist letting go. Nonetheless, today’s challenge is to trash 31 photos.

=> If your pile-up is of printed photographs:

Gather them onto a sorting surface. Conduct a “quick sort” into 3 categories:

“A” …Album

Photos you love that you’d like to put in an album

“B” …Bin

Photos you aren’t ready to pitch, but which aren’t special enough for an album

“C”…Can, as in “trash Can”

Photos that are blurry, duplicates, poor quality, damaged, lack sentimental value, etc.

Our goal today is 31, but if you find more than 31 to pitch, good for you! Old photographs are not recyclable due to the chemicals that were used to develop them. Newer prints you’ve made from your computer may be recyclable. For more information on recycling photographs, click here. Negatives are probably not worth keeping, unless you have a very specific and intentional purpose for their use.

The final step will be to move the photos you’ve decided to keep into albums, frames or boxes. When purchasing supplies, be sure to invest in those that are acid-free and intended for photographic storage. Another option is to scan your photos for digital storage.

=> If your photo collection is digital:

The sorting process is the same, only you simply “delete” any images you don’t want to view in the future. This Youtube video offers a simple approach for sorting.

If your digital collection is complex, there are a variety of software packages that can help organize digital photos. For more information on organizing photos, or to find a professional photo organizer, visit the The Photo Managers.

It is your final day, are you ready to get rid of some photos? Which day’s challenge was easiest for you? Which was hardest? What do you still need to tackle?

15 thoughts on “GO! Challenge #31: Photos”

  1. I did some photo sorting/editing a few weeks ago and it felt good. These days so much of what I have is digital (an entirely different organizational issue.) But there are still printed photos….mostly from prints I’ve made from my digital images.

    Whether it’s photos or clothing or kitchen items, letting go of what we don’t need/want/treasure, always makes way for more clarity…physical and emotional. What’s not to love about that?
    Linda Samuels recently posted…What Can “Blank” Do For You?My Profile

  2. When the kids were younger, we went digital with all their photos. It worked out great because now we have over 16 years of digital photos and no negative to be found. Yay! I do, however, need to weed through my blog’s extra photos. I don’t really need them because I resave the ones I use. Plus, it will save me lots of space on my drive. =)

    I liked the accessories challenge on day 18. I was able to reduce my scarves collection even more.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…7 Book Storage Solutions For Small SpacesMy Profile

    1. Way to rock the challenge, Sabrina! The mix of printed photos and digitals is passing, but since having printed photos to display and enjoy is still a good idea, nice to have that option for our favorites!

    1. A thorough overhaul of photos can be a large undertaking. But I so agree that it is worthwhile to get these memories in order. It is an ongoing process, especially if you love taking pictures!

  3. Pingback: Recycling Tip: Getting Rid of Unwanted Photos | Darienite

  4. I was always good about keeping my photos in my photo albums..but then I started taking pics on my phone. There are thousands of pictures on my phone now, I’d like to have them printed and put into my albums but I need to go through ALL of those photos in my camera first and start deleting many of them…..a LOT of work.
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted…The 10 Commandments of Middle AgeMy Profile

    1. Yes, that is a lot of work. So many people are in the same position! That is why the Association of Professional Organizers is thriving. Most of us have lost control of the digital photo collection. I was just like you: I kept on top of it when they were printed photos, but once they were on the phone…well, not so much.

  5. Fabulous breakdown! I think you hit on every category possible we (and our clients) manage in our lives! I think that the photos are the most difficult for so many, especially if you are a tactile person. For me too, I like to “touch” them and thumb through albums, as opposed to scrolling on a PC or a laptop.

    1. I feel the same, Nancy. I was more on top of my photos when they were printed pieces of paper. I tend to lose track on the computer, and have to be very intentional to keep them organized!

    1. Great to think to those extra areas where we have kept photos temporarily. I have a few of those myself. Some of them are photos which my daughters pulled out of albums when they were little and they never got replaced. There’s a good “winter day” task!

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