Help Me with My Digital Clutter

Dear FlyLady,

Can you help me with digital clutter? I have a four month old baby, so I’m taking lots of pictures and videos of her on my phone. They are backed up on iCloud storage but not otherwise organized. I’m wondering if I should make print photo albums (like the kind from Shutterfly) or would that just be more physical clutter? I also worry my perfectionism would have me trying to design “perfect” albums. Thanks for your advice!

FlyBaby R.

Dear FlyBaby R.

Remember this! DIGITAL CLUTTER IS NOT CLUTTER! As long as your inbox is empty and it does not keep you from receiving your email.

I will never forget a message I got once. A new mom was so proud of herself for making a scrapbook page each day of her six month old daughter’s life. I understand that scrap-booking is a creative outlet for us but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Try eating a whole chocolate cake sometime.

I am really proud of you for recognizing your perfectionism. It can ruin our lives with a simple task like making an album.

Here is how I organize my photographs; by the year; by the year. Then when you get ready to make an album; you can find all the highlights of that year. Then on a day of your choosing once a week or once a month you build the digital pages or real pages for a scrapbook. Do not let them take over your life.

One of the things my mother did was to build each of us a photo album with our report cards and pictures of our family. When we moved out; she gave us the album.

My great grandmother cut obituaries out of paper every day and taped them in a scrapbook. Everyone needs a hobby I guess. When she died my mother took them. When Mother died I took them. They are in a huge box in a storage unit that my son holds the key to. LOL. I don’t know the people in the scrapbooks. One day he will declutter them; unless I get the courage to dispose of them first. At least they are not in our home. Just imagine five generations of clutter that was not disposed of; all because my sweet great grandmother wanted to keep the obituaries of her friends. If she had know they would become an albatross around our necks she would have thrown them away.

The main thing is to back your pictures and computer up. The iCloud for your iPhone is a great way to back up your photos and videos.  We have to keep in mind that our children are not going to have boxes of old movies, slides, and pictures of their lives because they will be on some cloud out there. We can’t even give them our iTunes library. Every once in a while print out some of your pictures.

I have really enjoyed putting old pictures of my ancestors up on This way they are available to my descendants. I have also set up an album on my Facebook page that is for old family photos.

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