When is a good time to clean out your digitial photos on your cell phone?
If you live in a state other than Arizona or Hawaii, you recently set your clocks back from daylight savings time to standard time. A lot of people use this trigger of setting our clocks back an hour or forward an hour as a reminder to check and/or change the batteries in our smoke detectors. You may also use it as a reminder to deal with other chores around the house such as time to plant the Spring bulbs in your garden or time you get the tires rotated on your car. I would also like to suggest that it’s a good time to sit down and clean out your digital photos on your phone. Some Photo Managers suggest that we do this at the beginning of every month. So, since we just started a new month, you now have double the reason why it’s a good time to review and delete the photos on your phone.
Today our cameras/phones are with us all the time so we are taking lots of photos of the same event and lots of photos scenes outside or some of the crazy things we are doing in our homes these days. And while we have the ability to easily delete photos, we don’t. We have become digital hoarders with our digital clutter. When you keep all those photos on your phone, you use up storage space and you eventually decide to buy a new phone with more storage to store all those photos rather than delete some of your photos.
So, you might ask, how do I decide what to keep and what to delete?
You want to save only the best ones.
If you have a hard time deleting photos, try doing it in baby steps or small increments. After a special event or a vacation or a time when you know you have taken a lot of photos – such as Halloween – take a quick run through those photos and delete all the blurry and duplicates right away. Then go back and be a bit more ruthless. Do you have 10 pictures of your child building sand castles on the same day or in their Halloween costume or the crazy contraptions that people built this year to safely deliver Halloween candy? Pick 1 or 2 to save and delete the rest. If you can’t bring yourself to delete a lot of them right away, give yourself some time and do it the first of next month. After some time has gone by, it will be easier to delete.
Resist the feeling of photo guilt. Do any of these comments sound familiar?
“Oh, it’s such a cute picture.”
“Oh, it’s such a beautiful sunset.”
“I have to save these photos of when she was young so I don’t forget.”
“I have to save these memories of his first soccer game so I won’t forget.”
Unless you are planning to create a photo book of that vacation or that soccer season, you want to go through the pictures and only keep the best ones and delete the rest. You want to keep the photos that can tell the story of the event or the occasion. The photos with people in them are the most interesting now and will also be years from now. However, the 25 pictures of pretty flowers or sunsets or the food you ate will not have much meaning a year from now and even less meaning 25 years from now.
Your photos tell the story of your life experiences and by saving the best you will find it much easier to cherish those memories and pass them down to family members in digital photo books or in archived private, secure cloud storage.
Once you have deleted your photos, don’t forget to clear out the Recently Deleted Album on your phone so that you truly release the storage space.
As you are going through and cleaning up your photos on your phone, it is also a good time to organize them into albums. Start by identifying the topics or categories that will make it easier for you to find your photos. Examples of topics are your children or grandchildren, pets, a special event, a vacation, your house and yard, or a specific topic such as food or sunsets. Once you have identified these topics then you want to create albums on your phone for each of these topics and select and move the appropriate photos into these albums. As you are organizing your photos into albums, you may come across additional photos that you want to delete. This process does not duplicate your photo but instead tags it that it belongs to this particular album.
For additional information on cleaning up your cell phone photos, see my blog post titled Are your cell phone photos a mess?
Once you have taken the time to cleanout your current photos on your cell phone, you can start working backwards with your older photos on your phone or your computer. Remember, just do it in small chunks of time, don’t try to do it all at once.