Have you amassed bags, boxes, drawers and crates of old photos? My experience tells me that this is a common issue, particularly with Baby Boomers.
If you have, take heart. You're in very good company. Some of the coolest people I know have too many photos!
So make a cup of tea, grab a cookie, and take a comfy seat on the couch. I'm going to talk you through how to dig out from under and take charge of your photos.
First the hard truth. Dealing with a high volume of photos is not a quick fix. This is a doable bit-by-bit solution. The good news is that any notion of organization is off the table! I simply want you to start culling your photos gradually.
While drinking tea.
And eating a cookie.
And watching Golnessa have yet another alcohol infused meltdown on The Shahs of Sunset.
Hmmm... I'm now thinking I may have an issue with instant gratification.
Anyway, here's what you'll need:
A discard receptacle, like a paper grocery bag, tray or large bowl.
A stack of photos
A photo storage box (Average cost, $5)
Ready? Here goes!
Choose a place in your house where you can spread out. Your bed or the dining room table are good options.
Set the timer for 15 minutes.
Grab your stack of photos and begin by discarding all duplicates, near duplicates, blurry photos, and especially photos that no longer hold significance. What does that mean? Let me answer a question with a question. Do you really need a family photo of your next door neighbors from three houses ago? Of course not. If you want to see what they look like, Friend them on Facebook.
Can't decide which near duplicate to choose? Line them up and choose the best one. Then discard the rest. Basically, if the photo doesn't speak to you, or if it doesn't bring up good memories, toss it. While you're at it, toss all negatives and the sleeves your photos came in. What the heck!
If you finish your stack before the timer goes off, grab more photos and keep going. When your 15 minutes are up, stop! Store the photos you're keeping upright in your photo box. If you want to separate them by topic, use an index card. Walk your discard pile outside and drop it in the trash.
Make a regular date to chip away at your photo cache little by little, 15 minutes at a time. Once you have your photos culled you will have a much easier time deciding what to do next. Or you might call it a day. Your choice!