By now you’ve heard about or watched Marie Kondo’s hit Netflix tv series, “Tidying Up.” I am pleased that the issue of physical and virtual clutter has reached a wider audience. And I agree with much of Marie’s approach. Some of her methods are useful to managing our growing photo collections. But she never addresses the underlying problem of how we accumulated so much in the first place. This is problematic.
- How We Got Here
When I was a child, print photography was how we shared photos. Unlike today’s youth, I don’t have 50,000+ photos of myself. I have a dozen or so, and my total photo collection is under 5000 images (digital and print combined). The prints are precious because they are one-of-a-kind. Having tens or hundreds of thousands of photos of your life is very difficult to sift through. We photo organizers end up addressing this issue with our clients over and over again, and of course this is a stressful situation for many people.
Even comedians are riffing on the topic.
I understand the urge to document every moment because you can. There are a lot of benefits to digital photography and the tools it offers. And this convenience should is worth taking advantage of.
- Going Forward
I understand that your child and your family are changing and growing. But if you never edit and delete your photos, your child will inherit an onerous burden. What kind of a digital legacy are you handing down? What will people do with 1,000,000+ photos of their lives?
Editing as you go can be a simple solution and rewarding task, but only if done on a regular basis. As with any habit, setting aside time to do so, and following through, is essential. If you feel overwhelmed by your photo collection, start editing the most recent month – one at at time. Work backwards from there. Small steps can yield big rewards.
Thoughtful culling and editing your photos is imperative. It’s time to take charge and tidy up. Your children will thank you for it.