• But every photograph is an important document of my life! Er, sorry. Gonna have to call horse feathers on that one. If you were born before 1980 you know exactly what I mean when I talk about the "blow off" shots at the end of a roll of film. If you were born after 2000, like my kids, it's hard to believe there was a Dark Ages when you couldn't immediately see your photo as soon as you snapped the picture. Nope. You had to wait until you had taken all 24 or 36 shots on the roll. Then you had to rewind the film back into its canister and drop it off at the processor. Only after the shop was done processing it and you came back to pick them up could you see the photos you had taken. No surprise, then, if the last few shots were of just about anything if you were particularly impatient.
And that's just one kind of photo clutter you've been hanging onto. There's also the almost shots, the totally missed shots, the blurry ones, the ones of the inside of the lens cap, the ones of people you can no longer remember.
Over there on the right is a box of my own prints that I de-cluttered a while back.
You can see how many photos of mine were either unfocused, on some inanimate object I didn't care about, or showed people I honestly couldn't remember ever knowing or meeting. Those are the ones that are circled in yellow.
It was astonishingly easy to get rid of these photos. To be honest, I was surprised by how much I got done in a single quick pass!! There were other photos in that box I eventually got rid of, but I needed a little more time to make those selections.
You know what clutter is? Postponed decisions. Don't wait to make these simple decisions any longer.
• But I have room to keep every photograph! And even if you currently have room to hold every single photo you've ever taken (whether it fills a shoebox or a bookcase) there's no way your descendants will want to keep all of it. In other words, you can make the decisions now and get it down to a decent size yourself, or throw up your hands and hope the people who clean out your house will find the time to go through all those boxes and do the sorting then. Experience tell me this is the worst time to make decisions like that.
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