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Oh, the Digital Clutter: My Adventure to Turn 19,000 Photos Into Something Magical (Part 1 of ???)

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Remember all of the "non clutter" ideas I gave you in Go Play, Kids! Have Fun Without Clutter (, well I forgot to mention I usually take photos of all that stuff.

So even when I try so hard not to create physical clutter in my live, digital clutter is often the result.

It's a balancing act and I have nowhere near perfected it. I tell you, it's a lot easier to bring a bin of toys to the thrift store or sell items at a garage sale than it is to sift through thousands of photos and decide which ones are print-worthy.

This is the image I woke up to. After I took a photo of my sick child sleeping.

19,025 photos! How did this even happen?

Well, at first, it was sort of a "new mommy" challenge I ridiculously gave myself; to capture one photo a day for her first year of life on this earth. And I did just that, religiously. Then year two came, and the habit just sort of continued.

This was the album I made her for her first year!

365+ photos of her little changing face.

(Boy, was I ambitious!)

Now, here I am almost nine years later drowning in digital clutter. I spend extra money each month to send my overflowing images to the cloud. I send more photos to my computer and email so they won't get lost. My favorite ones get used as desktop backgrounds or make it into to this blog. The rest, are just there.

However, the part that bothers me the most is that my daughter doesn't even get to see the majority of them. I have to admit, whenever she is away, I scroll all the way back to when she was tiny and reminisce about those moments. Shhh, don't tell her.

This is how it was done in the 80's.

I guess my mom was just as ambitious my first year.

(Baby Me)

When I was young, I loved looking back on old photos of myself and laughing at the styles I wore, (totally 80's, big hair and all) reliving fun times, laughing with those who were there with me and pulling out the most embarrassing ones. They were all a part of my story.

I feel like I am denying my daughter of that experience because I am holding all of her images captive in my phone. Worst of all, what happens if somehow the phone or backup stopped working? I dread losing all of those precious memories.

As my daughter's 9th birthday quickly approaches, I have given a lot of thought to these unseen photos. I decided I am going to painstakingly choose the best of the best and make her an album. But instead of printing hundreds and buying bulky photo albums, I am going to use an online photobook making service. It's a great way to fit hundreds of photos into a small package!

This is a process that may take a while, but I'm giving myself an "older and wiser mommy" challenge. 19,000 photos is a lot to sift through, especially when I have to stop at every one that brings up an emotion, and you know, still have to take care of everyday responsibilities.

However, the desire to get these photos back into the light of day is stronger than my laziness and trepidation. My hope is that. if not by this birthday, certainly by her 10th birthday, she will have a beautiful record of her lovely life so far.

Please stay tuned as I update my process...

Photo Challenge: Days Two & Three and I Think I’m Failing, Miserably (Part 2 of ???) (

Photo Challenge Continued: A Little Bit of Progress... (Part 3 of ???) (

Photo Challenge: Learning About Limits (Part 4 of ???) (


Any and all suggestions are greatly welcomed. Are you drowning in digital clutter too?

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