A frequently asked question from readers and one I’ve asked myself many times,”What do you do with extra photos like duplicates or those already saved digitally?”

For many, photos aren’t just digital data. They are cherished memories, snippets of time that we’ve captured to relive. But in the age of smartphones, we often find ourselves with duplicates, near-identical shots, or just an overwhelming amount of photos. Let’s get to some solutions.

  1. Establish Criteria

The first step? Establish criteria for which photos to keep and which to let go. This makes the decluttering process efficient and less emotionally taxing. Consider the following:

  • Duplicates: Do you have two shots of the same scene? Choose the best one and let go of the rest.
  • Quality: Blurry photos, or ones with unfavorable lighting, can generally be deleted.
  • Red Eyes: Unless it’s a special moment and you plan on editing out the red eyes, it might be a photo to toss.
  • Emotional Value: As time passes, certain photos might not hold the same emotional value. It’s okay to let them go.

  1. Digitize Physical Photos

If you have physical copies of photos that are already digitized, consider whether you need the physical version. If the digital version suffices, you might want to recycle the physical print or create a scrapbook.

If you’re looking for ways to get organized, including your photos, I have a special FREE event for you – Get Organized HQ!  I’m speaking at it and am a keynote speaker – yay!  Grab your free ticket here – ‘see’ you there!

  1. Create Special Albums

Sometimes, it’s not about the quantity but the memory. Create albums for special occasions, trips, or phases of life. This not only helps in organizing photos but also makes revisiting memories an enjoyable experience.

  1. Consider A Cloud Backup

Always make sure your treasured photos are backed up, preferably on a cloud service. This provides an extra layer of protection, ensuring your memories are safe. I’ve always recommended Miss Freddy if you need help with this – I have had her organize and scan my photos and it’s been a dream. She did a mini-series here on the blog a couple years ago. Here’s a link to her Backup Bootcamp if you are interested – use the coupon CLEANMAMA for $10 off.

  1. Print and Display

If you come across a photo you particularly love, why not showcase it? Consider framing it or creating a photo book. It’s a beautiful way to relive memories.

  1. Safely Store

If you want to save some photos, consider using an archival-safe storage box. I have one of these to save special photos in. I labeled them with the individual boxes with the year and can grab those extra photos anytime I need to. This also helps quantify how many you have and can help you get down to a smaller number of saved photos.

Archival Photo Storage

  1. Create Craft Projects

From photo collages to custom coasters, there are numerous DIY projects that can repurpose photos. This is especially fun for those duplicates or photos that might not be ‘perfect’ but still hold some sentimental value. The Thanksgiving after my Grandma passed away we turned some of her Christmas cards into a tree garland. It was a special way to have a little bit of her with us and could be a nice way to save some photos.

  1. Regularly Review

Make it a habit to review and declutter your photos. You can do this as often as daily or weekly, quarterly or annually. It not only helps manage digital space but also ensures your photo library remains a source of joy and not stress.

The digital era has made capturing moments easier than ever, but it also comes with the responsibility of managing these memories. By setting clear criteria, regularly reviewing your collection, and finding creative ways to showcase or repurpose them, you can ensure your photo library remains a treasure trove of cherished moments.