Home photography Clutter clearing

Clutter clearing

by Clare Mansell
Clutter clearing
January rain

It has been unseasonably cold over the last week or so, and uncharacteristically wet with it, the perfect weather in many respects for clutter clearing. As we approach our shipping date (in about 6 weeks) there is always the tendency to panic slightly at the prospect of squeezing our possessions into our allocated 10 cubic metres.

Approaching any military move, a great amount of time is spent agonising on whether to take particular bulky items of furniture or whether to sell them, but mostly the focus is on clearing out the accumulated small things. A few weekends ago we cleared 40 books from our bookshelves and took them to the charity shop and this weekend I have moved on to photos…. Which raises a whole other set of questions. The general opinion with photos seems to be that its sacriledge to throw any of them away, but under what circumstances is it crazy to hang onto them? Consider the following…

● Poor quality, out of focus or badly composed photos (at least 50% of everything I took before digital!)
● Photos of (gulp!) old boyfriends. Bin them all? Or keep one to remember a chapter of your life?
● Photos of a group of people you worked with one summer 20 years ago and have never seen (or are likely to see) since?
● Photos that are just downright unflattering.. of anyone?

Space is always at a premium for us and I can’t help thinking if I don’t whittle the collection down, the problem will only get worse over the years. Do you have your own rules about which photos to bin and which to keep, or is your photo collection one of those things you always think about sorting out and never get round to? I’d love to hear your opinions…

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Lyn February 6, 2011 - 6:55 pm

All the doubles and odd ones got put in a shoebox and put in our loft (not an option for you I know!) I have lots of albums and we spend many hours looking through old albums as they bring back such memories, I am a hoarder but so I don’t have a good answer for you I’m afraid!

Isisjem February 6, 2011 - 7:02 pm

Photo’s are hugely important to me as they tell the story of my life and are a great way to illustrate it. I worry about long term storage because since digital I take more not less and I do like to have photos in books and albums, not just online.

There is a lot to be said for getting shot of really bad pics. But if there are some that capture a moment (even if the quality is rubbish) that’s important to you and/or tells your story then I would keep them.

Think about how you’d feel if you didn’t have them. My other half (who is also in the army) found with moving about and living in a small space he was better off storing all his photos on a hard drive…that then went and failed! He lost years and years worth of photo’s. Luckily some of his favourites he’d already sent me copies of and I’d kept them – even him with old girlfriends at mess do’s.

Ninny February 6, 2011 - 9:53 pm

This sounds really horrible, but I have all my photos organized by the main person in them… in plastic zippered baggies! They’re ALL out of focus, badly composed, and yellowing. Oh, well, when I die, my kids can sort through them and decide to toss them in the bin, LOL. Right now I can’t bear to part with them.


delia hornbook February 7, 2011 - 8:07 am

My photo’s some are in albums but they are mostly stored on the computer the ones i want up and around the house i do. I have some photo’s of old, i think its one of those jobs you never get round to doing, but it doesn’t make sense to keep the ones that are out of focus really, just the ones that are personnal happy memories. good luck with everything and i hope the move is smooth for you all. dee x

Dianne Neale February 10, 2011 - 8:35 am

I suppose you could sort through and where there is more than one of the same thing, keep the best and ditch the rest.
Having said that, I keep aaaalllll of mine, and they have move up and down Enand with me, then over a 1000 km to Czech Republic.

Wendy February 15, 2011 - 7:15 pm

I have boxes and boxes of photos as well as a few in albums!

I love your blog (and I love Greece and crafts – I think maybe that’s how I found it!) and have awarded it a Stylish Blogger Award! Please visit my blog at http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog for more info!
Wendy x

Anna February 16, 2011 - 10:25 am

Hi from your newest follower. I am a huge fan of all things Greek too.
Anna x


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