Spring Cleaning- Digital Edition

If you are anything like me, you take TONS of pictures! From pictures of my family and home, to screen shots of things I want to remember while surfing social media, my phone is always at its max of photo storage. I am usually pretty good about clearing out and organizing my media files (both on my phone and computer.) I try to do it at the end of each month, but lately I’ve been slacking and the amount of pictures on my phone was out of hand. I took a few hours last weekend to play catch up and “spring clean” my digital files.

DELETE PHOTOS

At the end of each month the first thing I do is go through my phone and filter through my pictures. I am the mom that takes 50 pictures of one pose trying to get just ONE where everyone looks good! I start by putting a heart (iPhone users) next to my favorites, and then I delete the rest. I am also the mom that takes pictures or screen shots of EVERYTHING. From important dates and memos I don’t want to forget, to screen shots of recipes, outfits and products that I like. I look through all of the screen shots and other random pictures I have and delete the ones that are no longer important or needed.

UPLOAD/ORGANIZE PHOTOS IN SHUTTERFLY

After I have condensed my pictures to only the ones I want to keep, I upload them all to Shutterfly. Yes, I know I can save my photos on the “cloud,” but to be honest I don’t know how to use it. I picked Shutterfly for several reasons: First, I have been using the company for YEARS to print pictures and make photo books and gifts. I like the quality of their products and trust that my pictures will be safe. Also, they offer free unlimited photo storage as well as easy sharing. Finally, it has an easy to use app so I can upload the photos directly from my phone. All you do is open the app, select the photos you want to upload and it does the rest for you. You can even set your photos to automatically upload when you take new pictures. I don’t use this feature because like I said earlier, I need to delete a ton before I upload.

I also love Shutterfly because it so easy to organize my pictures. I keep them categorized by year and month, which makes it easer to locate a specific picture when I need it. If there is something important like a vacation or a special event, I usually create a separate folder for those pictures as well.

Here is an example of how I organize my photos in the Shutterfly app:

Shutterfly is also amazing because you can get unlimited free prints (4×4 and 4×6) at all times using the app, as well as weekly deals and savings!

IPHONE ALBUMS

For the most part, I keep all of my pictures in the general “photos” feed of my phone. However I do like to create a few albums to make it easy when I’m looking for specific pictures. Its kind of like my own personal Pinterest boards on my phone.

I keep two albums titled “Wish List” and “Gift Ideas” with pictures of things I either want for myself/home or things that would make great presents for others. These albums are perfect to reference when birthdays or holidays roll around and I can’t think of anything I want to give or receive. I also keep a folder specifically for “Home Decor.” I started taking pictures of my house when it is decorated for each holiday because I hate when I go to decorate and can’t remember where I put things the previous year. I also put screenshots of things I want for our house in this folder. Finally, I keep a “Recipes” folder, which is where I put screenshots of yummy meal ideas I saw on Facebook or Instagram.

BACKUP TO EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

When I’m really on a roll, the final step in this digital storage process it to backup all pictures to my external hard drive. I don’t know what I would do if it got misplaced because I keep EVERYTHING on it! I learned my lesson about backing up files the hard way a few years back when my computer crashed. The exact one I have is no longer available, but here is a similar one in black. I organize my pictures in folders the same way I do on Shutterfly. This way if something would ever happen to my account (knock on wood), I know my photos are protected!

This might seem like a lot of work to keep my photos organized and safe, but I have gotten the process down to a science. As long as I stay o top of it each month, this only takes me about 10-15 minutes. Not too bad for peace of mind knowing our precious family memories are protected!

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