5 days ago in this post I unveiled my latest decluttering project. I intend to have all of my photos culled, sorted and labelled in a digital format.
I started with the files that were already on my computers – yes, plural. The very first step was to consolidate them onto one device for the purpose of this project. That resulted in reducing the number from over 18,000 images to 17,300.
I then removed further duplicates as I placed the photos in 15 primary folders plus and additional one for some assorted videos.
The categories I chose reflect my interests and priorities. Yours may be very different.
Within those folders are sub-categories. For instance, the one named ‘Animals’ contains photos of various pets we have had over the years. Each pet has their own folder. ‘Family’ which contains the largest number of photos has a folder for each year. Within that folder may be folders for specific events such as birthdays and weddings with the remainder of photos for the year simply be ordered sequentially and labelled with the person and place if applicable. Some of the folders may be removed completely once all of the photos are dealt with. The folders ‘Food’ and ‘Clothes’ are primarily for photos used in blog posts. Once these have been checked against the folders for the blog and the photos referenced then the photos and other folders may be deleted.
Although this screenshot looks very neat, there is an enormous jumble within those folders that will take many hours of work to unravel. I have plenty of time and intend to a little bit every day – a bit like eating an elephant!
The second part of the photo project is contained in a box. The box on top of the filing cabinet contains all of the photos which have yet to be scanned, along with assorted other bits and pieces. I dare not show you the contents yet as I am not ready to dive into that and the photos that need scanning until I have the digital files under control.
The good news is that the digital files have now been whittled down a bit further to 16,500.
So, why am I doing this?
- As with any decluttering project, I want to keep only that which is useful and of value. This means removing duplicates, photos that no longer have any meaning to me and poor quality images where there is a superior one that is similar.
- Having an organised and curated collection means that my family and I are more likely to peruse and enjoy the photos.
- When I am gone it will be easy for people to choose which photos to retain and which were only of value to me.
- My descendants will not be left wondering as to who was in a photo or where and when it was taken.
Like many people, I have left this task far too long but I am now determined to complete it. I honestly have no idea how long it will take.
That’s an amazing job. Both in size and in level of organisation. I keep planning on doing it. What helps with my decluttering is that several of my devices have died over the years. Losing untold photos. And I’m not really sad. So I now plan that device Death will be my decluttering.