How to manage digital clutter

With smart phones and their storage capabilities, the collection of digital clutter can amount to thousands of photos at the tip of our fingers. With busy work schedules, family, friends and the endless list of to dos, this is yet another task most moms don’t want to worry about. This is why my business focuses on taking so much off of mom’s plate- coordinating outfits, scouting locations, providing style guides, two consultations, a vision board, a photo strategy, shooting, editing and most importantly providing tangible heirlooms printed and framed for you to enjoy around your house. I truly believe memories should not live on a hard drive. Instead those hard drives should serve their purpose- to store and backup. But, what about those photos taken with our phones? Those too are worthy of displaying and sharing with our loved ones. Here’s how to manage digital clutter.

To avoid this digital clutter, every new year, I organize and print an album of all the photos taken with my phone for that year. For iPhone or Adroid photos, I would not invest in the beautiful albums you normally do for professional photos. The quality of iPhone and Android images are not the best in comparison to professional cameras. Some of the photos are in bad lighting or resolutions are too small to enlarge into large prints. However, they shouldn’t stay living on your phones, the cloud, or your hard drive. They too can be shared with the whole family.

There’s places like Shutterfly that make this really easy and affordable. If you sign up for their email list, they often send 50% off albums. It pays off when you have over 400 photos to fill in an album.

shutterfly albums from vacation in Hawaii, London, and Disney

The process I have created has helped with weeding out any duplicates and in cutting the loading time of the photos to Shutterfly.

There’s several different ways to do this, but I have found this to be the fastest way. This can be easily done while waiting at a doctor’s office or waiting in the car rider line.

If you’re just starting to declutter your digital images, here are easy steps to follow.

  1. Create an album in your your photos app for a specific year like “2023”
  2. Go back to “All Photos” and add ONLY the photos you want (this will cut upload times in the next step) printed in the Shutterfly album for that year
  3. Go to your Shutterfly account and add the photos from the “2023” album you created of the photos you hand selected
  4. Now the photos are stored on your Shutterfly account ready to create your album
  5. Next, login to your Shutterfly account on a desktop
  6. Start creating your album through the album options they have on Shutterfly
  7. Select spreads that have 5 or more options for photos. I have found that 10 photos per page have been the most affordable for memories to cherish with our kids.
  8. Once your design is complete, “add to cart.”

How to manage storage of your digital clutter

Let’s talk about storage of these photos after you have ordered your album.

Here’s some simple rules I’ve learned throughout my years as a photographer.

1 copy = 0 copies saved

2 copies = 1 copy saved

3 copies = 2 copies saved

Do not rely on iCloud photos. It doesn’t technically “back up” your photos.

Some great options for storage of your photos would be- Dropbox, Google Photos, Amazon (unlimited storage with Prime), or external hard drives.

Choose three options to protect your memories.

I learned a lesson the hard way when I dropped my hard drive.

Please leave any comments, concerns, or questions you may have about how to manage digital clutter.

And for those beautiful professional photos you have of your family, send me an email here for more information regarding the luxe albums with create for our clients.

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