Do you have them too? Those cupboards in your house where three old telephones, an old laptop, memory cards and a few boxes of photos are lying around, which you will hopefully really sort out this year? Meanwhile, our phones fill up every day with snapshots of children, holidays, plates of food, lost streets, empty selfies, outfits of the day and that umpteenth beautiful sunset. “We want to keep everything in photos and videos, and because of the chaos we end up with nothing,” my sister sighed recently.
There are of course people who neatly tidy things up every day – go ahead, put it in a folder, or make a photo album immediately after their holiday. But for the hoarders photo organizer Danielle Regout offers a solution. “Sorting photos is an emotional and overwhelming process for many people,” she says. “People don’t know where to start. Because photos are so dear to us, many people cannot make a quick decision about them. And then it becomes something big.”
Thousands of photos
Regout offers online courses and also visits people’s homes to create order out of chaos. An average photo archive easily contains 300,000 to 400,000 images, she estimates. She comes across all kinds of things by telephone. Influencers easily have more than 100,000 photos on their roll, with a private customer it is usually between 20,000 and 40,000. Insane numbers.
Don’t start deleting photos at the bottom of your camera roll, says Regout. You quickly no longer see the forest for the trees, or you become entangled in memories. “When you get to photo 250, you are already exhausted.”
An important first step is simply collecting. Make sure you have an external hard drive that is large enough (two terabytes) and merge everything, absolutely everything. Empty those phone(s), pull out all the folders on your laptop, ask friends and family members again for that WeTransfer you let expire. A tactic that Regout adopted from the Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, because according to her, people turn off when they know that photos are still floating around somewhere else.
Then the party really begins: sorting. Create folders by year, and then by month or important events. An average photo archive has at least twenty percent of duplicate photos, Regout estimates. She always starts with this job first for clients. Then you can continue cleaning. Do you already feel the satisfaction? Photo books and annual films are slowly appearing on the horizon.
Do you really just want to clean up photos on your phone? A tip from the photo organizer: “You can search for the date in the camera roll on your phone. If you enter February 1, you will get all the photos from that day over the years. This way you can clean up your entire phone in a year.” You can of course also do this monthly to keep up the momentum.
Backup and storage
It pays to pay money for online storage, Regout advises. She is a fan of Dropbox herself. She recommends Imazing for iPhone users. This app backs up your entire phone, including all photos, videos and voice messages. Then you can also empty your WhatsApp on your phone, because together with the photo gallery, these are the biggest storage hogs in terms of data. You can also check in WhatsApp whether your photos will automatically end up in your gallery or not.
Then the backup, because people’s biggest fear is still losing everything. Securing photos and videos can be done using the 3-2-1 backup method, Regout advises. “The idea behind that method is that you have three copies. I recommend two hard drives: one at your home and one securely elsewhere, and then a copy in a cloud.” If you’re really disciplined, you can put one of those hard drives on your desk and immediately put the photos you want to keep on there. And otherwise, according to Regout, a thorough backup once a year is just often enough to update everything. Sounds manageable, right?