Decluttering photo albums takes a lot of work. The whole process takes you down into a well of nostalgia. Knowing this, I’ve avoided sorting through photos, but my memorabilia trunk is bursting at the seams, and it is time to face it. Plus, I’ve actually enjoyed the last three days of our 30-day decluttering challenge, so I think I’m ready. Here is my plan for decluttering photo albums over the next three days.
#1 Pull Out All the Photo Albums
I have tons of old photo albums that have started cracking at the bindings. I also have envelopes of pictures that aren’t labeled because I’d grab stuff when I would visit home rather than bring entire additional albums to LA. Now that both of my parents have passed, all the albums will be living with me. So, my first step in decluttering photo albums is to pull everything out of the trunks and take inventory.
#2 Ditch the Duplicates
Ditch the duplicates unless you have been assigned the duty of passing on duplicate physical photos to siblings or friends. I found that the ones I had sent home to my parents when I was traveling all had notes on the back. So, I kept the identified ones and ditched their un-noted duplicates.
#3 Get Rid of Terrible Photos of Places You Don’t Recognize
Back in the days of film cameras, you’d take a lot of photos in the hopes that at least one of them would come out. Honestly, I do that now that all of my photos are digital. But that’s another story. So, I set myself the task of reviewing groups of pictures and chucking ones that are terrible photos that leave people or places unrecognizable. There were a surprising number of them.
#4 Did You Love that Event?
When you are decluttering photo albums, assess whether you want 35 photos of the same people at the same event. Maybe only 5 of those photos were good. I realized that my safety photos included a lot of shots that weren’t necessary for me to remember the event. So, I culled the set of images down to a handful.
#5 Decide How to Store Your Decluttered Photo Albums
I was eager to ditch the bulky binders in favor of smaller photo boxes. Since my photo albums weren’t scrapbooks (i.e., there were no notes or extra pieces of memorabilia), it has been an easy shift so far. The only thing I’m likely to keep is my baby book because that whole thing is special, and I feel like I would lose something if I just pulled the photos out.
You, of course, don’t need to ditch your albums as you declutter them. Maybe your efforts will allow you to limit the number of albums you need to keep your photos. Perhaps you’ll want to scan your pictures and stop keeping physical photos, except for very special framed items. Whatever makes you smile and stores your photos securely is the route to go.
And now, I’m going back to decluttering photo albums! Good luck to us all this weekend!
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