By now you’ve either watched an episode of the Marie Kondo series on joyful cleaning or know someone who has. My drawers are now full of neatly folded clothes. I get it. We have too much stuff, but when cleaning wanders over into the photosphere well then I have an opinion. It’s not horrible to discard certain pictures, but there should be a plan. And it’s important to have some criteria before tossing for tossing sake.
Here are three ways to tackle your modern family photos—digital images, snapshots, and slides.
Start with your digital files first.
Why? Digital images are easy to clean up with a glance and a click. Ask yourself how many photographs of a particular event or vacation you need. I bet you have many images of the same scene.
- Pick the important ones
- Print out significant images
- Create a photo album for a family member
Photo albums are making a come back. My children love sitting with an album rather than viewing photographs on a screen.
Tackle the Snapshots of Your Life
We have piles of snapshots from the later part of the twentieth century. It was the era of the double and triple prints. Sure, we passed on some of those pictures to other family members who requested them, but we have piles of them. You might too. You don’t need the triple prints and neither do I.
- Keep one copy of each image.
- Use the others to make a scrapbook for someone or create a photo album for a family member.
- Scan the ones you kept so that you have a preservation quality back-up.
Get Serious About Slides
There was a time when our picture-taking habits leaned towards slides. The fantasy was that we’d invite our friends over to look at them. Raise your hand if you ever did that. The problem with slides is that you have to have a projector and screen to view them. If you have slides it’s likely been years since you looked at them.
- Weed the collection by selecting ones that matter. Those with people or significant ones to your family history.
- Scan them using a slide scanner like the Jumblr or use a scanning service.
Do you have a collection of older heritage photos? My course on Essential Photo Organizing helps you manage those precious photos.