We were pondering what often makes it difficult to declutter or ‘downsize’ which begs us to ask the question,
We know there are lots of photo hoarders out there (we’ve watched ourselves transition out of this as the digital age took over), but you know we are ‘why’ people so we took it a step further to see why so many of us have come to be Photo Hoarders and this is what we came up with 😊
The evolution of the photo hoarder!
Post-world war-ish generation – often known to keep everything ‘just in case.’ As ‘the times’ shifted from scarcity to increased accessibility and affordability, we simply 'bought more stuff,' but the ‘just in case’ mentality stuck around too long, and clutter was born.
Enter the 35mm camera and that ‘just can’t turn away 99₡ duplicate purchase add-on,’ coupled with the traditional female memory-keeper now entering the workforce and we have the Equation for Photo Hoarding:High Memory-Keeping Value + More Photos Taken – Available Time to Memory-Keep + Fear of Loss of Photos = Photo Hoarding. Ahhh, there it is.
The pre-duplicate days DID see a slight surge in photo quality-depleting ‘acidic-sticky’ photo albums and the beloved crafty scrapbooker, but it was a short-lived decade of yellowing photos mixed with thick cardstock and 3D embellishments. The duplicate era arrived and before we could adjust with simple plastic 4x6 slotted photo books, the beautiful digital camera was born just ahead of its younger and what would become the more popular sibling, the smartphone.
And here we find ourselves shifting from a generation standing perplexed in front of closets full of photo boxes and inherited albums of unknown but potentially beloved relatives, to a new-age generation of digital and chaotic photo clutter spread out across devices, the internet and the cloud - a sea of jpegs and random facebook ‘memory-keeping’ – digital images piling up on smartphones and devices, 'photo book-less'.
And what exactly does photo hoarding look like in ‘the cloud’?!
The photo hoarder with a dream to become a true memory-keeper increasingly struggles as our time becomes more distracted in the day by devices and information, and storage becomes more affordable - we aren't forced to address the volume of photos as quckly anymore because it takes longer for our smartphones to remind us that "storage is full."
Increased storage = Greater time to procrastinate.
Another equation working against the photo hoarder longing to be a memory-keeper.
5. But there are some present-day photo hoarders who are now ready to take action! To evolve! To shift from overwhelm to intentional and driven! New conversations about minimalism and increasing comfort with the Delete button are on the rise. Photo book orders are increasing as Memory Momentum spreads their worskhops across the land and swoops in to people’s homes to teach them the ABCs and shift their beloved memories from the addictive scroll of the camera roll and the posted and forgotten history on Facebook (ok, you revisit the posts when Facebook reminds you what you posted a year ago…), to true photo-storytelling! May your photos and stories unite! Photo hoarders evolve!
SO, if you’re a Photo Hoarder striving to evolve,
(obviously just call us and we’ll evolve you) or simply start here:
Delete. You don’t need ALL the photos of a trip or day. Think photo book even if you’ve never done one. Think, how will I tell the story of this day? With 30 photos? Or 5? Get to know your delete button. Downsize and Optimize!! 😊 That’s right, I just came up with that. And do it as close to the time of the photo as possible = greater delete success.
And for the love, delete those pics of the meals you shared (unless they are a reallllly important part of the story) and those pictures of the pickle jars or cute tops that your hubby and friend took while shopping to ensure they’re buying the right one at the store. Tip: Take these pics WITHIN your text message app and they won’t go into your camera roll.
For your past photo collection, take small chunks of time – even 20 minutes a week, and sift through the past photos and just delete. Don’t worry about sorting at this point. Simply delete. It's a start. For those printed photo hoarders (we salute you for your avid memory-keeping intentions obviously); now get a shoebox out, gather a group of photos (again small chunks of time here – easy out, easy to put away) – sift through and just ‘delete.’ Put the keepers in a shoebox if not yet sorted and get rid of those you don’t need. Chip chip chip away and feel the weight lift.
The key to doing this? MAKE TIME to nurture your photo collection. You invest in cameras and smartphones so you can capture the moments; now invest the time to manage those memories. Ensuring your actions carry out your values = joy! (Gosh, we're nailing the equations today). Again, even if it’s simply just deleting at this time - 20 or even 10 minutes a week - make a date to sift and delete – then record the photo range you’ve covered so you don’t have to backtrack.
Be intentional about the photos you take. SEE the story you want them to tell which can get lost in volume and clutter. It really is quality not quantity. And by quality, we don't mean you always need the BEST camera, you just need the right shot or a few key moments to tell that story. The story is where the magic happens, where we create new memories by sharing the stories with loved ones, not the endless camera roll.
Finally, always delete the pickles. (Does this qualify as a tweetable by chance?!) Ok maybe just keep one – at one point it’s gotta be funny that we took pics of food no? Some historian might want that pic of the pickles…
If it all still seems daunting to you, get together with a friend or family member and spend time together being productive. We LOVE photo hoarders! Because we get to spend time with such interesting people and find a whole lot of joy in helping them uncover their stories. How wonderful to do this with a loved one.
Until next time, our memory-keeping friends,
Amanda & Kristi
Evolved Photo Hoarders
Need some help with your own photo-organizing journey and just have no idea where to start? We would love to help. >>>> CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW <<<<