Two Important Declutter Questions

Two Important Declutter Questions

Did you know we give our clients homework?  

One of our most frequently asked questions when we first meet a new client prospect to discuss digital organising is: “if you are doing all the organising for me, how can you tell what to keep and what to delete?” of course the answer to that is that we can’t. We don’t delete for you, we can make recommendations and be guided by you e.g. a request to delete ALL screenshots or exact duplicates.  But when it comes to making a choice of the best photo from a group of photos from the same event, it is ultimately up to you to make the choice of your favourite… see, homework. Only you know WHY you took the photo and the significance of any story behind the photo.

So how can we make that homework easier for you?

You may have all heard of the Marie Kondo Method of organising – to consider each item and ask yourself ‘does it spark joy?’ I find that one a little touchy feely for my right side brain. My personal all time favourite decluttering guideline is to actually ask myself ‘if I were shopping right now, would I buy it?‘ I find the straightforward prospect of having to spend money on an item tells me pretty quickly the value it holds and helps me decide if I really want it around. I had to then ask myself how can I apply a similar principal to the process of decluttering photos?

I asked my colleagues at The Photo Managers what they thought it would be.

“If you had a camera right now, would you take that photo? And why would you take it?” – Chantal from Simply in Order

“If you had to pay $1 would you take that photo?”- Nancy from Corkscrew Photography

Would you spend money to print it? or would you post it on Facebook?” Isabelle Dervaux

“When you give your kids your photo collection – will they have any interest in this photo?” Jenny Scott Larson

I came up with a variation of the great suggestions from my colleagues and two questions.

One to promote INTENTIONAL Photography. Decluttering isn’t necessary if you don’t take too many photos in the first place.

‘imagine it is the pre digital era and you are using a film camera, you only have 36 shots, will you still hit the shutter button?’

The other for decluttering a historical digital disaster zone (aka doing your homework).

‘if you had no device to store digital images on, and the only way to view your collection was to print and put images in albums – would this one make the cut?’

Did you read the post on what’s your number? Where I spoke about a client taking 18,000 on one holiday. If you were to print all those photos out it would not only put a hefty dent in your wallet paying to print them all but imagine the space it would take up! Adding 18,000 prints to a standard 300 photo sleeve album you would need 60 photo albums! Knowing that my own entire digital photo collection is just shy of this number, just for kicks and giggles I measured the space my old 300 album takes up and multiplied that by 60… each album would take up 5.5cm across my shelf… that’s 330cm… over 3 metres of shelf space. Can you imagine inviting someone over to check out your holiday snaps and sitting them down in front of what is effectively a WALL of photo albums? Just to illustrate the point I took a photo of just one album on top of my piano…now imagine that the whole piano top was full with albums and now image there are 2.5 pianos along the wall.  I think you get the picture if you will excuse the pun.


Whichever way you think of it, or whichever probing question we ask ourselves I think we can all appreciate that we can take and store less photos.

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