Photos are a great way to capture memories, and we all love taking snaps of places we’ve been and people we love. But over time they can create a LOT of clutter – both digital and physical. If you’re looking to declutter your photos, here are all the things you can get rid of right now. Do one category at a time, and before you know it your photo stacks will be clutter free.
How To Get Photos Ready To Declutter
The best way to declutter photos is to have them all in one place.
If they are physical photos – grab a large box and add them all into that, and if they are digital photos, collect them together in one file on your computer.
From there – you’ll find the process of decluttering quicker if you sort through a little first. Try and group them in date / event order.
A lot of your decluttering will be as a result of having lots of photos of the same/similar things – so if you aren’t sure of what you’ve got, the decluttering process will be harder. Do yourself a favour and organise them a little first.
That way decluttering will go much faster for you.
Things To Declutter From Digital AND Physical Photos
#1 – Duplicates
If you’re anything like me, you probably have at least a dozen shots of the same thing.
Whether it’s that perfect sunset or that brilliant holiday with friends, we often take several photos in quick succession hoping to capture the perfect shot.
But do you really need twelve versions of the same thing? Pick your favourite and get rid of the rest.
#2 – Anything That’s Blurred
We’ve all been there – you’re trying to take a photo of something moving and it comes out blurred.
Or maybe you were shaking when you snapped the pic. Whatever the reason, if a photo is blurred it’s probably not worth keeping.
Exception: if the photo is of a loved one and it’s the only photo you have of them, then by all means keep it.
#3 – Anything That’s Not Good
Whether it’s over exposed, under exposed, unflattering, or any other number of reasons that a photo can be considered ‘bad’. Let it go.
You really won’t use it for anything, will you?!!
#4 – Photos Of People / Places You Don’t Remember
This is a big one, especially if you’ve been going through some old photos.
You come across a photo of people or a place and have no idea who / what it is.
At the time it was taken, you thought that you’d remember every detail, but now, years on, not so much.
If they were taken by you and you can’t remember who it is – it’s fine to let it go. You won’t ever display them, and they can’t be that meaningful if you’ve forgotten them, right?
One thing to think about a little more in this category though is when this happens when you’re going through photos you’ve inherited…
Firstly – ask relatives about the pictures to see if you can work out who they are etc… Become a detective!
If you and relatives don’t know – then unfortunately they are probably lost memories. You may want to keep one snap of each person just in case, but the rest can probably be let go.
#5 – The Worst Photos Of An Event / Person
When we go on holiday, to a party, or out for a day trip – a LOT of photos can be taken of that event.
When you get back, that’s the time to go through what you took and pick 1 or 2 of the best snaps to keep for the memory.
But if you haven’t done this over the years, now is the time to sort through your photos and group them by event. Look through each event and decide on the few to keep.
Delete everything else – no guilt needed!
#6 – Anything That Doesn’t Make You Happy When You See It
This is a bit of a personal one, and only you will know if there are certain photos that don’t make you happy when you see them.
You might have photos of an ex that you don’t want to see, or ones from an event that brings back bad memories. Whatever the reason – if a photo doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it!
Things To Declutter Specifically From Your Physical Photos
#7 – Photo Albums You Don’t / Won’t Use
Do you have photo albums that are just sitting on a shelf not being used? If you don’t love them, and won’t use them – get rid of them!
Chances are, you’re now more likely to create a digital photo book with your photos (and if you have physical photos you can digitise them first which will protect them from damage over time).
#8 – Negatives You Won’t Develop
The same goes for those old photo negatives. If you’re never going to do anything with them, it’s time to let them go.
#9 – Excess Physical Photos
Do you have mountains of physical photos that are taking up space and you never look at them?
It’s a shame because all they will do is fade and get damaged over time – and then they’ll be lost forever.
The solution here is to scan them in so you can keep them digitally, and then get rid of the originals!
You don’t need both, and it’s much easier to keep track of / find your favourite digital photos when you DO want to have a few on display in frames around the house.
#10 – Old Film You Won’t Use Or Develop
If you’ve got some old film that’s been sitting around for years, and you’re never going to use or develop it – then get rid of it!
It’ll just take up space, and there’s no point in hanging on to something that you’re never going to do anything with.
#11 – Photo Frames You Won’t Use In Your Home
In the same way that photo albums are wasting your space if not being used, so too will all those photo frames you’ve collected over the years.
Maybe your decor has changed style, or you want less on display – whatever the reason – just let them go.
For these you could look to sell them, or give them away (only if they’re in good condition of course).
Things To Declutter Specifically From Your Digital Photos
#12 – Phone Photos That Aren’t Backed Up
A lot of us don’t backup the photos on our mobile phones ever – and that means that all those memories could all too easily be lost.
Much better to periodically (or automatically) back them up to your computer or somewhere like Dropbox – so you have copies in a secure place.
Then you can take them off your phone and let that stay clutter free!
#13 – Excess Phone Photos
We tend to take a LOT of extra copies of any photo we take nowadays because we’re not using up film in the process. That’s fine, because we want to make sure we have a good one in the bunch.
However, it’s not too often that we’ll then go through these options and delete the rest. They just stay forever taking up space.
#14 – Photos On Old Phones
If you’ve got old phones hanging around with photos on them that you want to keep, make sure you transfer them off as soon as possible.
Old phones can break at any time, and then all those memories will be gone forever.
#15 – Photos On Digital Cameras You Don’t Use
If you have a digital camera that you don’t use any more, then make sure to transfer the photos off it as soon as possible.
Old cameras can break at any time, and then all those memories will be gone forever.
#16 – Photos On Old Computers
For exactly the same reason as #15 – if you have stored photos on your old computer with no backup, then it’s time to move them somewhere more secure (and declutter any that need to be in the process).
Things To Declutter Related To Your Photos
#17 – Old Cameras You Don’t Need Any Longer
If you’ve got an old camera that you’re never going to use again, then it’s time to get rid of it.
You could try and sell it (if it’s in good condition), or give it away – but don’t keep it just in case…
The same goes for old lenses, tripods, and any other camera equipment you’ve got stored away.
If you’re not using them – let it go!
When you’ve decluttered all these things from your photos, you’ll have a curated set of photos you will love and cherish for years to come.
No more having to wade through lots of clutter – just the best stuff.
In fact – you may now be ready to create a photo book of your favourites – and this is the article to read next if that’s the case.