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Organizing Your Digital Photos: Getting Started | Families

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Organizing Your Digital Photos: Getting Started
Organizing Your Digital Photos: Getting Started

We all have a lot of photos stored in our albums or boxes but those aren’t the only kinds of pictures that can cause clutter.  Every day we take thousands and thousands of digital pictures and they cause as much clutter as the paper pictures.

If you are under the age of 35 or so, you probably don’t have as many print pictures as those of us who are a bit older.  Most of your pictures are digital and locked inside of your devices. Let’s talk about a few basic steps to start organizing your digital photos.

Get Your Digital Photos Together

When you want to get control of your digital photographs, the essential first step is to gather everything into one place.  For your digital images that one place is likely to be your computer but could also be a dedicated external hard drive.

You need to go around the house and find all of your pictures that are in different places. This might be SD cards out of your different digital cameras, a USB drive, old CDs or an old laptop.  Perhaps you stored some on an external hard drive or maybe you even paid the money to have your print pictures scanned and they’re still on the CD from the scanning company.  

The goal here is to get your pictures off these devices and into one central location.

See our list of places of where to find your photos.

Get The Photos Off Your Phone

One of the most important place to gather your photos from is your phone because, face it, it’s probably your primary camera these days. I talk to people all the time who don’t backup or download their photos from their phone. What happens if you lose it or drop it in the pool? Those precious pictures are gone forever!

If you don’t know how to get the photos off your phone, just Google it.  In my case I might google “download pictures iPhone 6s to Mac.”  You’ll get step by step instructions on how to get those images off of your phone and onto your computer.

Back It Up

One last thing you need to do after you get everything onto your computer is to be sure your computer is backed up.  I recommend using a cloud based service  either to the cloud through a company like Backblaze or Carbonite. These services will back up your entire computer, not just your photos.  You can make a secondary copy of your files an external hard drive.  These days external hard drives have a tremendous amount of storage space for very little money.  these are huge now and they don’t cost very much money (1TB for $60, 5 TB for $110). 

Make one copy of your “mess” of digital photos and keep it offsite. Ideally you want to keep a copy away from your house, maybe at a friend’s house or a safety deposit box.  Have two to three backups of all the important data on your computer because you do not want to lose these precious photographs. 

Once you have them in one place you can start organizing them.

Where is the most unusual place you’ve found your digital photos?


Andi Willis is a Home and Photo Organizing Expert and the owner of Good Life Organizing based in Perry, GA.  She is a Professional Organizer who loves to help people find creative solutions to organize their homes and simplify their lives. Andi can help you get past the clutter and get on with your life! 

Find Andi at Good Life Organizing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can also contact her by email or (478) 550-1969. Check out her guest blog and videos on Uncle Bob’s Self Storage Blog. You can also find her ebooks on Amazon.


Grab your copy of our  Home Organizing DIY Assessment Workbook. Find it at the Good Life Organizing Store along with our other ebooks.

If you would like to get more organizing tips and ideas, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. You’ll also get our 10 Easy Ways to Get More Organized tip sheet as a free gift.

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase from a link, I may receive a small commission with no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business! See my disclosure policy for full details.

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