Please Don’t Go KonMari On Your Photos!

Please Don’t Go KonMari On Your Photos!

Have you heard the buzz around the KonMari Method?

Recently I read Marie Kondo’s latest book Spark Joy and frankly it raised some concerns.

To quote the book

“The basic approach to negatives is to discard them all.”

Instant ALARM BELLS !!!

This is NOT what we as Professional Photo Organisers would recommend at all!

Instead consider carefully what those negatives are of before making any rash decisions.  If you have negatives, that means the images were taken on film before digital camera technology.  If the images on those negatives are, for example, your wedding photos that you currently only have prints for you might want to modernise (and digitise) them for prosperity, future reprints, canvas artworks, for a modern day photobook or simply to have an extra copy as a back up.  Digitising from a negative will give you a MUCH better quality digital image than scanning a print.  Especially if that print has been behind glass in direct sunlight or damaged or deteriorated in other ways.

The book then goes on to mention a client of hers:

“declared that she would keep only those photos in which she looked good, which in a sense, is actually the correct criterion”

Sorry Marie once again we heartily disagree!  We wrote about this very topic recently where we reminded you that “You look AWESOME in that photo, yes you!”  where we reminded you about PERSPECTIVE and RETROSPECTIVE.  Just because you think you look terrible in the photo now doesn’t mean that in a few years time that photo won’t ‘spark joy’.

There was also a great article in Sydney Morning Herald titled “Against anti-cluttering: it’s not just about joy” that is worth a read too.  We love the sentiment “not just about the joy”.

In Marie’s defence we do support and readily agree with this (again from the book Spark Joy):

“Photos will only keep your memories alive when they have been arranged so that you can enjoy them whenever you like”

Does that remind you of something you hear us say – all the time?


Has anyone else read Marie Kondo’s books?  We would love to hear what you thought!  Join the conversation.

Have a magical day


  • Just Me With . . .
    Posted at 03:23h, 09 March

    It’s kinda like crying baby photos. They are cute! I’m reafing the discarding of photos to address that since photos have bern digitized we take too many. In olden days we were limited by the film capacity, so if you only had 24 pics to take at a given event you thought more about what you shot and didn’t take as many multiples. I’m not to photos yet but I will get rid of those unneccessary mutiples of similar subjects. I have too many pictures to look at and when I need certain ones I don’t even want to try to find them.

    • thefilingfairies
      Posted at 09:25h, 09 March

      Of course we are all for downsizing but not the extremes of ditching everything we don’t look good in! Crying Santa photos are one of my favourites!

  • Just Me With . . .
    Posted at 03:33h, 09 March

    Good point on the negatives. Get copies made or make digital files before discarding.

  • Andi Willis, Good Life Organizing
    Posted at 09:46h, 13 March

    I find joy in many imperfect things, including pictures. While I don’t advocate keeping pictures that are truly bad shots (like completely blurry or random ones of the sky), I do love some that are imperfect. I have a very blurry picture of my dad that I took when I was about 6. It’s blurry and off center but I love the smile on his face and I truly treasure that.

  • Chantal
    Posted at 14:17h, 22 March

    I couldn’t agree more, Mara. As you might know, I am ‘KonMari-ing’ our own home and I write about it through the eyes of an organiser and a mum in my blog. I really do like Marie Kondo’s approach but when it comes to documents and photos I don’t agree with her for the reasons you mention.

    How often do we come across photos that we might not look good or they’re blurred or otherwise not ‘perfect’. They still might tell a story that is important to us and worth keeping. Again, I totally agree that the photos then shouldn’t be kept at the back of a cupboard but actually be sorted, organised and enjoyed in one way or other.

  • The Filing Fairies | Principles of home organisation you can apply to organising your photos
    Posted at 12:07h, 14 January

    […] ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo or are watching her series on Netflix.  We wrote about the book when we first read it way back in 2017. Some of you may have engaged the services of a Professional Organiser to get your home or office […]