5 Types of Photos to Toss - Guilt Free!

Sitting down to organize your printed photos is a daunting undertaking. After all, you probably need to organize your photos because you’ve been avoiding it for a long time. Possibly years!

But you’ve decided it’s finally time. You’re ready. You’ve pulled out that overstuffed box of loose photos from under the bed. You’ve spread piles of printed photos on the floor. You’ve got your IRIS photo keeper cases ready and waiting to be filled to the brim with your freshly organized photo collection.

Part of organizing is removing what no longer serves you, which means before you jump in, you may need to declutter your stash first. This part is tricky! We can delete selfie after unflattering selfie, but somehow everyone seems to struggle when it comes to parting with printed photos, no matter the quality.

So, before you start, set some ‘rules’ of what photos are worthy of staying in your collection and what needs to go. Of course, this may vary from person to person, but tossing the following five types of photos is pretty safe bet:

  1. Blurry photos

    If you would delete it from your phone, delete it from your life! No need to hang on to blurry, out-of-focus prints. The same goes for poorly composed photos that cut off heads, or any photos so over or under-exposed that their subjects are completely unrecognizable. No brainer!


  2. Duplicate Photos

    This is also a simple category to declutter. Immediately toss any duplicates as soon as you run into them. You may want to pass the duplicates on to someone who would appreciate them, but feel no remorse if you choose to simply say goodbye.

    This also includes ‘near duplicates,’ those groups of very similar photos that all capture essentially the same moment in time or the same object at slightly different angles.

3. Scenery Photos

Even with the best intentions, most scenery pics don’t tell much of a story. Sometimes we can’t even be sure where they were taken … “Is this a mountain in Montana? Colorado?” Same goes for shots of the ocean horizon (we all do it) or cityscapes. Highlight the people and experiences from those trips and feel free to toss the rest.

Let’s go ahead and add zoo animal photos to this category too. Will you will ever really need to fondly recall that one time you saw the backside of a sleeping bear in a cage from afar? Toss!

4. Photos of your Ex

Maybe you’ve already done this, in a bonfire. Or maybe you have fond memories of your ex, and you hang on to old pics for nostalgia. This category is a highly personal one that you’ll have to decide on your own. A couple of questions you can ask yourself that might help are “Would I feel comfortable if my ex knew I had saved these photos?” and “Would I feel comfortable knowing that my ex had saved photos of ME?” Do whatever feels right to you.

5. Mystery Photos

Who’s that lady? We’ll never know, because she’s covering her face with her hands.

Other culprits in the mystery department include photos taken from such a distance that you can’t tell who is in them, photos taken from behind, or even photos of people you simply don’t know or can’t remember. If you can’t name who is in the photo, or where and why it was taken, let it go.

Once you have sorted through your stash and eliminated these categories, you should have a storage-worthy collection of photos that make you smile every time you pull them out.

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